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Francois Ozon's gripping drama follows three men who band together to dismantle the code of silence that continues to protect a priest who abused them decades ago. Based on events from the 2019 conviction of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon for concealing the conduct of Father Bernard Preynat, BY THE GRACE OF GOD compassionately illustrates the varying effects of trauma on survivors and their families in this urgent portrait of resistance, the power of mobilization, and the mysteries of faith.Written by
Music Box Films
On the surface, this is an impressive movie. It is meticulously scripted and covers much ground with regard to the case of French Catholic priest accused of child sexual abuse. Writer-director Francois Ozon also manages to assemble a competent cast of actors for the various roles like Josiane Balasko as Irene, mother of one of the victims. My problem with this film is its very clinical approach, which may have its strengths; however, i did not find myself moved, touched or feeling sympathy for the characters when i should have been experiencing those emotions while watching the movie. By the end, instead of feeling emotionally walloped, i was left cold. And while the film is stylishly done, nothing stands out other than the shocking expose of the Catholic church which however is nothing new for anyone who has followed the news. For its various merits, this film deserves praise while from this disappointed viewer, the film receives grace.
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