Calvary

Posted on September 13, 2014

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Calvary – A priest (Brandan Gleeson) receives a threat from a confessor stating that he was raped repeatedly at the age of seven by a now-deceased priest. To make amends for this sin against him and others, he now wants to kill a good and innocent priest He gives Father James a week to put his house in order. During this week, Father James continues his ministrations to his parish members. You can’t help wondering which one it is. Is it the coke-snorting doctor (Aiden Gillen) who plays mind games, the nothing to lose financier, or even his wimpy colleague?
There are so many characters here –red-haired daughter (Kelly Reilly) who has been contemplating suicide; local butcher and wife beater (Chris O’Dowd); young widow; flirtatious Veronica; and especially the altar boy who steals the booze. One comment I especially liked “She’s either bipolar or lactose intolerant.”
Questions are raised: Does suicide equal eternal damnation? Has the Catholic church done enough to repair the damage done to all those young children by its priests? Set along the sea in Ireland, the clarity in the photography is amazing. One of the last scenes is unnecessarily graphic. I hid my face so I didn’t see it, I was told about it. It did not fit with the rest of the movie. Gleeson did an super job, so did Aiden Gillen.

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