Cinema Review: Calvary starring Brendan Gleeson is a hard-hitting, emotional and often very funny film


Calvary is probably the best film I’ve seen this year so far. This is such a cleverly made movie. While it had some hilarious lines it combines this with a rather dark story and some truly emotional scenes. It tackles the big issue of the growing distrust and irrelevance of the church in a really eye-opening way, and highlights the impact that various scandals regarding priesthood has had on the importance of the church in Ireland.


Calvary opens on a priest performing his regular duties in a confession box. One man who enters has an unusual confession to make, after which he tells the priest he intends to kill him Sunday week. Unsure if the threat is genuine or not, Father James Lavelle continues his work in the parish community of a small town in Sligo. Father James is a good and intelligent man and does his best to help those around him, despite the fact that his help goes beyond his duties and despite the people not necessarily wanting his help. The majority of the film consists of these encounters with the numerous quirky characters of the town, with some meetings humorous and others heart ̵ breaking.

It is beautifully shot in Sligo, the people’s faces in the confession box and landscapes of Ireland are particularly striking. Brendan Gleeson works brilliantly as the innocent priest who gets caught up in this backlash against the Catholic Church, and generally his supporting cast back him up perfectly. Aiden Gillen was wonderfully sleazy while Chris O’Dowd surprised me as up to now I’d only seen him play comedic roles but he really delivered as a rather grim character.

Brendan Gleeson is on top form and a superb supporting cast to back him up. A hard-hitting, emotional and often very funny film.

Go and see : 9.5 out of 10


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