Film #59: CALVARY
4.5 out of 5 stars
The second part of a proposed “suicide trilogy” by director John Michael McDonagh (THE GUARD, NED KELLY) and actor Branden Gleason (IN BRUGES), CALVARY is a beautifully shot, lyrically written (with some truly funny moments of dialog), and exquisitely acted film that addresses Ireland’s long and dark history of priest molestations. The story is about a priest (Gleason) who is known in his parish as a good and righteous man. During confession, an unseen parishioner tells him that he is going to kill the priest in one week’s time. The rest of the film shows the priest investigating who the possible killer might be amongst his parishioners and looks at how he deals with his approaching appointment with death. The film is a fascinating examination on faith, retribution, and the fragility of life, but make no mistake… the film is bleak. The dialog is well-written and witty and acted stupendously (especially Gleason). Each person in the film deals with their own set of trials and tribulations in their own way and the film deals with it all with aplomb. Well-acted and beautifully shot, CALVARY is a terrific – albeit grim – film, but one that is HIGHLY recommended.