Calvary (2014)

calvary_2014_poster
Calvary (2014)
  • Time: 100 min
  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: John Michael McDonagh
  • Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Kelly Reilly

Storyline:

Father James is a small-town priest in Ireland whose Sunday confessionals suddenly include a threat to kill him in a week’s time as a matter of principle. Deeply troubled and conflicted about how to respond, Father James tries to go on with his calling through that week. However, that proves impossible as he is confronted with a troubling variety of spiritual challenges from both his estranged daughter and his own parishioners. In those dispiriting struggles, Father James’ life begins to fall apart as time runs out towards a confrontation that seems to crystallize his values and what he wants his life to be.

One review

  • “I first tasted semen when I was seven years old,” a man on the other side of the darkened confessional booth reveals to Father James (Brendan Gleeson). Repeatedly raped by a now-deceased priest for five years, the victim shares his plan for retribution with his confessor: there’s no point in killing a bad priest, so he’s going to kill a good one, namely Father James who now has one week to put his house in order and make his peace with God before meeting his fate on the beach.

    Set in the aftermath of Ireland’s sex abuse scandal, Calvary follows Father James as he goes about the coastal village of County Sligo, tending to his flock of sheep. The flock are a restless one, most coated in cynicism and indifference, all seemingly hellbent on challenging his convictions with courteous contempt. Among the parishioners are the local butcher (Chris O’Dowd), his adulterous wife (Orla O’Rourke), her lover (Isaach De BankolĂ©), a particularly self-satisfied financier (Dylan Moran), and a reluctantly celibate young man (Killian Scott). Most seem likely candidates to be his prospective murderer as does the atheistic doctor (Aiden Gillen), who goads him with a story of a child accidentally rendered deaf, dumb, blind, and paralysed by an operation – surely that’s how the sexually abused victims must have felt at the hands of their priests?

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