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:
Kelly Reilly, Dylan Moran
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Calvary

Product Details

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

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
‘Calvary’ is the second film from Irish director John Michael McDonagh, a very different proposition from his excellent black comedy ‘The Guard’. Brendan Gleeson returns to star, this time as the priest Father James who has rather a lot to contend with.

In his rural Irish community, every other person seems to flout their sins to anyone and everyone, from adulterers to serial killers. The main story involves a man in a confessional booth who confides in Father James that he was raped for years by a priest, now dead. For revenge, the victim says he will kill Father James in a weeks time, simply for being innocent of any crime.

An array of wounded souls played by Aiden Gillen, Orla O’Rourke, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Isaach De Bankolé, Gary Lydon and Dylan Moran ably support Gleeson, in a country still reeling from the recent financial crisis. Father James seems to be the only person in the village without any self-interests.

Surprisingly, Catholicism is given an easy ride by McDonagh who keeps a balanced view of the religion, avoiding the many cheap shots on church hypocrisy and the paedophilia scandals. Gleeson is a dignified but troubled presence, a man as comfortable perched on a bar as he is on a pulpit, whilst still managing to elicit a moral authority with dignity and grace. For all the blarney and black humour, ‘Calvary’ stands up as a sobering and sincere drama about faith and the fear of death.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James Argles on 8 Nov 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is simply one of the most important films about faith, doubt, humanity, inhumanity, the strengths and weaknesses of religion and the myriad vagaries of humanity that I've ever seen.

The balance of intense drama, raven-black comedy and wrenching pathos is as perfectly achieved as one could wish. Aristotle defined tragedy as a mixture of pity and fear - in that sense, this film plays out a particularly human tragedy.

The supporting cast - with special mention to Aidan Gillen - is brilliant. The uncredited "character" of the Irish land- and sea-scape plays a powerful part too.

Cinematography and script and score? Gripping on all counts.

Gleeson? No point hoping for an Oscar, they don't award them for performances this good. It's impossible to describe the subtlety and range of what he does... Every nuance captured but not overdone, every shade of emotion employed which finds a hotline into the priest's inner being. This is surely one of THE great film roles.

A stone-cold shocker of an ending, which left me reeling, grieving, and in a state of pre-cathartic turmoil. And I don't even believe in God.

That's the long version. The short version is:

If you love film, watch this film.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Neil Lennon on 22 Aug 2014
Format: Blu-ray
"Calvary" is the second collaboration between director John McDonagh and actor Brendan Gleeson. It concerns a priest in a village on the West Coast of Ireland whose life is threatened in the confessional by someone who claims to have been sexually abused by a priest as a child. Brendan Gleeson's priest is not threatened because he is suspected of similar abuses but specifically because he is a 'good priest'. He is given a week to put his affairs in order, after which he is told he will be killed.

All of this happens in the opening minutes of the film, setting the stage for what is essentially a who-dunnit before the actual crime takes place. You are introduced to numerous quirky, colourful characters who inhabit the village, any of which could have been the anonymous voice from the confessional. As the week goes by its clear the inhabitants of this village are far from good catholics, and there is an obvious moral decay in the community. All of which makes a lot of sense, as the title "Calvary" refers to the place where Christ was crucified, and Brendan Gleeson's priest becomes almost a Christ like figure, taking the blame for the sins of others.

If this sounds rather heavy going it's lightened by John McDonagh's wicked sense of humour and there are a number of scenes that are laugh out loud funny. If you liked the humour in his first film "The Guard" you will find the same style here. Brendan Gleeson is very good, as usual, able to portray the doubts and compassion of his character with equal depth. One criticism I might make though is that several of the other characters are portrayed by well known comic actors and their acting abilities are not quite as convincing in a film like this as opposed to a more light hearted sit com.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Corey S. Newcombe on 19 Aug 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Starting with one of those most shocking opening lines of all time, Calvary tells the story of a catholic priest, who is told that he will be killed a week from the beginning of the story, by an unseen person who was abused as a child.

The rationale? Because he's done nothing wrong, and it would be more shocking.

The first thing you notice, or certainly I did, is how much the film resembles Hardy's shocking horror The Wicker Man, not because its scary or anything like that, it's just that the film has the air of dread that that film carried, and the townsfolk are as bizarre as the residents on Sumerisle.

Plus the main character is highly religious, and on a quest for the unknown, both knowing that they may not like certain things that are unearthed in their quest.

But alongside that, the film is devilishly funny, with some hilarious moments, provided by the great cast.

Gleeson once again proves he is a formidable screen presence, and the inclusion of Gillen, Reilly, and O'Dowd, only compliment the film more.

But the film belongs to Moran, who plays a despicable rich fellow, much the opposite of Lord Sumerisle. Here is a man who spends the entire film gloating about how much he has, and how little it means to him.

And this is much like religion to the other characters. When they see the church on fire, not many pay attention, and those who do, treat it like a bonfire.

And the last scene goes well with this. After all is done, people just carry on with there normal life, as if nothing has happened.

Its a truly haunting film, thanks to the mood, the characterisation, and the humour.

Would make a great companion piece with Twin Peak: Fire Walk With Me.
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