Rating: 3 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)
Review: Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is a middle-aged priest who has experienced a lot of what life can throw at a person. He tends to his flock at a small village on a wind-blown coast of Ireland, and is at peace with his place in life, tending to the needs of the discontented and hopeless people who seek his guidance. But even Father James is unprepared for the man who sits in his confessional one day to unburden himself. The man matter of factly states, “I was raped by a priest when I was seven years old. I’m going to kill you because you’ve done nothing wrong.”
Father James recognizes the voice of the man who threatened him, and now must ponder what action he should take. In the meantime, his grown daughter Fiona has come home in dire need of his love. Father James entered the priesthood late in life, after the death of his wife. There are a number of people who seek out Father James help; some in loveless marriages, a convict in prison, a wealthy business man who has no joy in anything in his life, and the list goes on. Clearly this is a village in need of more faith and joy.
This is a small independent film that is totally character driven. There is a slight plot, but the movie is carried along by the stories of the people who interact with Father James. We get a peek at the dark side of these people, the sinners and saints alike. Often their pain give us a troubled journey to the end of this film. If you can handle it, a very good film indeed.
Actor To Watch: Brendan Gleeson is always good in every role. In this one he is outstanding. If enough people see this film, he could have a dark horse chance at an Oscar nomination.
Huh, What The ….: (Spoiler) Bruno the dog gets killed, and we never find out who done it.
Who knew that people surfed off the coast of Ireland?
Dialogue Nuggets: “That’s what I like about you, Father. You’re a little too sharp for this parish.”
“You’ve never been short of guns in this country, have ya?”
“You should beware of a man who wants to be hated and despised.”
“Are you informing me of your adultery in advance?”
“Why are you a priest at all? You should be a f*cking accountant!”