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|Index||49 reviews in total|
Watched this at Sundance Festival. Brilliant film. Some of the dialog
is a bit lost on US audience but still some hilarious lines. This is
much darker than The Guard and In Bruges (I know it's a different
writer/director) but very similar humor. But this has some very
powerful scenes (particularly the one with the lady who loses her
husband). It also tackles some serious questions on the church and
priesthood after the scandals around the world; really makes you think
about the plight of decent priests. Gleeson pulls off the part of
innocent priest paying for the sins of others excellently.
The music is amazing throughout. Also the scenery is incredible - made me miss home!
Excellent performances by Pat Short and Dylan Moran. Brendan Gleeson is just Brendan Gleeson, my favorite Irish actor (after Daniel Day Lewis of course)
This is well worth seeing. If your a fan of the McDonaghs stuff you'll love this. And what a great ending!
Having seen all the Oscar nominees in early 2014, I would have to say this is better than any of them. It might be a controversial thing to say to all the film techies who get very involved in analysing dialogue and the like but as a snap shot of Ireland in 2014, it's hard to think of how this movie could be bettered. Morally bankrupt, cynical, howling at the moon and everyone looking to blame someone else for their woes. And of course sitting right in the middle of this is the Catholic Church and all the scandals it was involved with. However rather than making the centre character the inevitable bad guy, we get a real man who has lived life, knows pain, has flaws but is a shining light of integrity, morality and compassion. Brendan Glesson is fabulous in his portrayal of Fr James who is asked to make the ultimate sacrifice as the good man laying down his life for the sins of others. The rest of the cast are also excellent and whilst it is a tad unrealistic that so many odd balls and "characters' all live in one small town, it is clear that they are representative of the vast array of disaffected folk living in Ireland today. The reference to Fr James' fellow priest having the character of an insurance company accountant was however a little to close for comfort! All in all a great movie of its time with strong performances and a great story. Irish film at its very best. Well done to everyone involved.
A timely title for Holy Week. Father James (Brendan Gleeson), a village
priest in a coastal village in Ireland, is told in the confessional
that one of his parishioners is going to kill him. The man was abused
by a priest for five years as a child; that priest has died, but
killing the innocent Father James will be revenge for the other
priests's abuse of an innocent boy.
A challenging set-up for a movie, especially one which sells itself as a comedy - albeit a very dark comedy. With Father James we meet most of the locals, a sinful lot for such a small village. The butcher who beats his two-timing wife; the aggressive local publican; the cynical doctor; the alcoholic landowner; the police inspector with a taste for rent-boys; an ancient exiled American writer (M. Emmet Walsh).
Having been married (and widowed) before he answered the Call, Father James has an unhappy daughter (Kelly Reilly) down from the big city, her wrists bandaged from a suicide attempt. A week after the woeful NOAH, I half expected a Flood to overwhelm the village, full as it was of folk sliding into wickedness. The central mystery of which of them has threatened the priest is a bit of a cheat, since surely he would have recognised the voice in the confessional.
The dark mountains and pounding seas which sandwich the village are as atmospherically filmed as they were in David Lean's RYAN'S DAUGHTER, and a fine score boosts the film's seesaw moves between comedy and tragedy. The script is clumsy in parts, but the actors carry us over the bumps. Brendan Gleeson is on splendid form (I wish he'd played Noah last week!) and the rest of the cast turn in believable performances. There is no comedy in the bleak finale. This is a dark and disturbing low-budget movie which, like PHILOMENA, will linger in the mind long after multi-million-dollar blockbusters have faded into a CGI haze.
This movie is NOT I repeat NOT a comedy, it is a drama addressing
serious issues from Ireland's past that happens to have some dark
It is well written, directed and acted and draws you into the little community in Sligo. As usual Brendan Gleeson proves he is one of the finest Irish actors around playing the likable priest who realises the worlds problems are real.
The end of the movie will leave you thinking and in all likelihood the cinema will be in silence and that is a sign of what this film has achieved... a contemplative piece forcing us to think on our past and how we treat.
Honestly, for those of you who haven't seen this film, go and see it. It's absolutely fantastic!
Brendan Gleeson gives a stunning performance as a troubled priest who has to come to terms with something shocking that he has been told will happen. It paints a brutal, realistic and yet original picture of modern Ireland. All the characters in the film are exaggerated representations of the types of people you get in Ireland today IMO. The story is touching, emotional, real and unforgettable.
My favourite film of 2014 so far. If you liked In Bruges or The Guard or even Seven Psychopaths, see this film. It's darker than all three of those films and it's hard to watch at times but honestly, it's worth it.
A beautifully dark film, with lashings of black humour and some lovely one liners. Just make sure to laugh at the appropriate parts, some viewers in my cinema laughed at the opening line! (once/if you see it you'll understand) I hope audiences outside of the UK and Ireland can enjoy it. I implore you to see it. 9/10, a must see!
My expectations for this movie were medium, I saw the cast had a lot of great comedians, so I thought there would at least be a few laughs. Instead, I was surprised to see a very powerful and touching movie, absolutely great script, never a doll moment, funny comebacks, terrifyingly creepy monologues and Brendan Gleeson. Hats off to this wonderful, talented actor! I was completely sold on his interpretation of an intellectual, yet devoted priest. And also, I found it very refreshing that the character was written as sincerely religious but not bigoted. I strongly recommend you go see this movie and I can't wait to see it again!
It is somehow appropriate that one of the best films I have seen since
Martin McDonagh's "In Bruges" is by his brother, John Michael McDonagh.
John showed promise with his film "The Guard," but with this film he
takes his place in the pantheon of immortal Irish black
humorist-philosophers alongside his brother.
What if you were a Catholic priest, and one of your flock told you during confession that he was going to kill you in a week? Not because you were a bad priest, but because you were a good one. He means it, and you know he means it. He gives you the week to get your affairs in order.
And what if the priest were played by the same Irish national treasure who played the lead in both of the two other aforementioned films, Brendan Gleeson. What if his efforts were supported by the likes of Kelly Reilly, Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, M. Emmet Walsh and a host of great Irish/English actors? And what if the results were really, really, really good, verging on magnificent? Then you'd have "Calvary."
At the end of the film I reflected that this was a far bigger film that
I had been expecting. The issues explored in the film really do come
together at the end. The credits roll silently and I noticed that the
full cinema was very quiet and remained so for a much longer time than
The problems in the Catholic church have had repercussions and this parish in Sligo is losing its faith. This loss of faith is portrayed very vividly, it is expressed more strongly than in reality I think.
The film revolves around the character of Father James Lavelle played powerfully by Brendan Gleeson. As Father James visits his parishioners there is much humour, often quite dark. The script has many choice lines. A man arrives to give a lift to a female parishioner who has been sexually promiscuous and she says "here is my ride".
Father James Lavelle is a likable priest, grappling with applying the church's teachings in the modern world. It is a thankless task and always his objective is undermined by the failures of the church itself. Father James's character is contrasted with that of a younger priest he shares the parish with (David Wilmot). The younger priest is very much part of the institution of the church and his loyal naïvety is humorous and infuriating.
Father James' life is threatened at the beginning, but this film is not a detective story, it is not Father Brown. Father James knows who threatened him but we the audience are not let in on the secret. The logic behind the threat is described ingeniously as events in the film come to a head at the end.
One of the most moving films I've watched in years. Simple story line, however, is full of colourful moments. As to the genre - this is not a typical art house movie, as it does have a goal-driven plot, as well as clearly defined narrative (which becomes clear only at the end of a film). I'm becoming a huge fan of the Irish productions now, after the critically acclaimed (brilliant acting by Daniel Day-Lewis) "My left foot"; "Inside I'm dancing" with the Scottish James McAvoy; Shameful & hungry Michael Fassbender. Surely Brendan Gleeson did a fantastic job in the "Calvary", but bravo to Christ O'Dowd! Please don't read or watch the spoilers . Ah don't even bother about the trailers! If it was on in the cinema again, I'd have gone at least a few times (to be fair, hardly ever watch one film twice).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
And Waking Ned, with a bit of Ingmar Bergman drizzled on top. In other words it does not make sense. Not at all. Yes, Brendan Gleeson is a great actor BUT that does not (by far) compensate for the scrip: In the shadow of Benbulben, the sugar loaf mountain of Sligo, we watch the Gleeson character cater for the needs of three suicidal characters, one serial killer/cannibal. There is also paedophilia, male prostitution, alcoholism, Irish Bank crisis, ethnic tensions, a car crash with deadly outcome,in addition to a dog (a golden retriver!) having its throat slashed, the burning of a church, a mafia style execution on the beach. All of this revealed and played out in the space of seven days. No question we are in Ireland though (for anyone who would mistake the setting for a war zone) there is traditional dancing, Guinness and whiskey drinking and lock-ins. A bit of surfing and references to foreclosure help us understand this is post 2007/08. What the red cabriolet Saab (90s model) did in the mist of all this I am not sure: bound to be a symbolism here beyond a priestly optimism about the weather. The nicest thing I can say about it is that it is somewhat Flann O'Brien in its surreal qualities but I was never a fan. I am gob smacked this film was ever made, never mind reviewed so generously. I would take offense if I was Irish. OK it does try to address some weighty issues about the meaning of life, the existence of God, the act of forgiving but failing desperately due to the bizarre side plots. There is a lot to say about the female characters, or the lack of any dept to their character rather. One of the most pointless scene is a long shoot of the beautiful Orla O'Rouke in a swimming costume walking up the beach. Yes, well why not trough in a good pair of lovely legs into the mix too, surely no harm in that... Stay away from this film if you don't like to be confused and feel fooled.
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