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Calvary. Four stars

April 17, 2014

The title is probably a clue, but I hadn’t thought about it before we watched this new film which stars Brendan Gleeson. It also features Dylan Moran and Chris O’Dowd so it’s going to be a barrel of laughs. Wrong. It does have humour, but really there s much more sadness and  some suspense.

“I first tasted semen when I was seven years old” is the opening line from an unseen guy in confession who admits he is going to murder Brendan Gleeson the following Sunday. And the rest of the film is the run up to that as we watch the priest tend his flock and go through their own agonies and miseries. When I say tend, he seems relatively disconnected from them. He is not the all tender and comforting priest.. But he is there. And maybe that is enough. He came to the priesthood after his wife died, struggling with alcoholism and  leaving his daughter .He has troubles of his own and no one to share them with but God. But tellingly he believes forgiveness to be the most underrated virtue.  It is a gripping film with wonderful scenery, strong acting and a play-like quality. I want to see it again as it will bear re-telling and confess more to me second time around I’m sure. Four stars (and a few tears).

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