Calvary 2013

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After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.

Starring:
Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 41 minutes
Starring Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Kelly Reilly
Director John Michael McDonagh
Genres Comedy
Studio E1 Films
Rental release 11 August 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 41 minutes
Starring Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Kelly Reilly
Director John Michael McDonagh
Genres Comedy
Studio E1 Films
Rental release 11 August 2014
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 April 2014
Format: DVD
Beginning in the confessional - one of the best opening scenes to any film I can remember - with mighty Brendan Gleeson as Father James hearing, in his words, `the most astounding opening line` he`s been privy to as a priest, this bracingly original film then becomes both a kind of thriller and an exploration of a small, enclosed society, a village in rural Ireland in which the Catholic church and its resident priest (not to mention his tactless junior assistant priest) appear to be almost universally despised.
Gleeson is rampantly riveting in the central role, with Dylan Moran note-perfect as a wealthy alcoholic and lord of the manor - the best acting I`ve yet to see from my favourite comedian.
But the revelation is Chris O`Dowd, who seems to be in everything at the moment. He`s brilliant as the volatile local butcher, his scenes both simmering with danger and totally credible.
The way Gleeson`s increasingly isolated priest interacts with the community is very well portrayed, until you feel that virtually the whole town has a literally communal grudge that is never fully explained, merely implied in the increasing tensions between them.
This is an adult, intelligent and witty film that offers no easy answers while asking some uncomforatble questions, mostly about Catholic culpability - yes, the issue of paedophilia raises its head, in a brilliantly conceived scene with a little girl in which the innocent Father James is left looking openly wounded - and the very position of a priest in these troubling times. Gleeson shirks none of the implications of his part, nor does director John Micheal McDonagh (whose previous film was the enjoyable The Guard, also with Gleeson).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. Davis on 27 April 2014
Format: DVD
I saw this on the cinema last week and have been telling everyone about it ever since. It's totally compelling. I checked afterwards to see if it was based on a novel as I'd have immediately bought it but it's an original screenplay by John Michael McDonagh who apparently also wrote The Guard. Needless to say I'll be buying the latter the next time I'm looking for a DVD! The film was partially shot in County Sligo and friends who used to have a farm there say that some of the characters are worryingly realistic! Though it has many blackly humorous moments this is ultimately a very moving and thought provoking film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robinski on 29 Jun 2014
Format: DVD
Despite writer/director John Michael McDonagh's film being centred firmly on the relationship between Brendon Gleeson's troubled priest and his belligerent flock, you needn't worry about being force-fed a pious stream of catholic dogma. McDonagh ably carries off the heavy allegory, despite peopling his film with caricatures, because they are so wonderfully spiteful, their dialogue so charmingly vitriolic, that it's impossible not to be swept along. McDonagh's second directorial feature after The Guard is just as assured, and there are diverting performances by Chris O'Dowd and a pathologically cynical Aidan Gillen among others, it is Gleeson's Father Lavelle who remains the centre of the film. His relationship with his daughter (played by Kelly Reilly), his attitude to his congregation and his predicament remain all present challenges to him, and yet he persists in trying to reconcile these while battling the prejudices of almost everyone around him. Wherever you stand on the outcome, you'll find it hard not to be affected and there's a good chance you will still be considering this thought provoking film when McDonagh's next effort comes out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerry Valjean 24602 on 28 Jun 2014
Format: DVD
This is a surprising film in a lot of ways. Whilst I found some of the characters a little unconvincing this was nevertheless a very entertaining film. It’s basically a ‘Who Done It,’ spread over an hour and a half.
Quite how a whole community (bar just a few) are so anti – Father James I really can’t fathom. They are aggressive, insulting and downright disrespectful most of time, though this is never really explained? Most of the characters are ‘extremes’ in one way or another – would you really find all these oddities together in such a small community? It reminded me a bit of ‘The Wicker Man’ with all these strange unhelpful people about?
The difference of course is that Father James whilst being constantly tested and teased by them still has to co-exist with his atheist flock.
As others have already mentioned, the scenery / location is breath-taking and this adds greatly to the film.
As I’ve said previously, this film possibly has too many extremes but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Lister on 22 May 2014
Format: DVD
John Michael McDonagh burst onto the Irish black comedy scene in 2010 with The Guard, an amusingly obscene odd couple crime movie in which Brendan Gleeson played a crass cop alongside Don Cheadle's fish-out-of-water FBI agent. For his follow-up, McDonagh has created something more substantial, expansive, and moving. If it overreaches in its existential considerations then it never does so boringly - there's always a right angle in the plot lying in wait.

Gleeson's character couldn't be more different to Sergeant Gerry Boyle. Father James Lavelle is an eminently wise and decent man, weathered by grief and a growing disillusionment with a world that has replaced God with nothing. In the opening scene he is told in confession that he will be murdered in one week. Day by day we watch as he interrogates the disparate inhabitants of rural Sligo - a population of wife-beaters and alcoholics who say they loathe him for his sanctimoniousness, but more likely envy him for not losing hope. His ray of light is his daughter, played by Kelly Reilly, who's on the verge of suicide.

McDonagh's outlook appears bleak, but I would say this is a film that explores the nature of bleakness rather than being bleak itself. It's a film about death; how we face life's ultimate given. It's not a comedy. It's not even a black comedy. Characters draw attention to jokes and irony where they arise, acknowledging humour as a defence against the inevitable void. With Patrick Cassidy's aching music, the film is awash with tragedy. But always there is the anchor of the Father: the base camp of goodness to which we return. He embodies true faith, with all its agony and thanklessness and sacrifice.

This is a career-best performance from Gleeson, who expertly portrays every emotion available to man.
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