Grittier than "The Guard" and for many in the Catholic Church it should make for difficult viewing. A very difficult story, well told and hopefully (even in a far-from 'perfect world') make for much real-life changes around the world.
This is described as a black comedy - unfortunately the comedy is pretty thin on the ground, despite the credentials of the cast. It is extremely bleak and gets worse as the film progresses. It was difficult to assign a star rating as the acting is good and there are some powerful moments, but honestly it is pretty relentlessly miserable, no jolly redemption here. Given that it deals with loss, domestic violence, paedophilia, murder and grief perhaps expecting humour as a relief was unrealistic, but it is what it says on the tin.
Just a ridiculously good film, really. Calvary stars the always-magnificent Brendan Gleeson in an assured performance as a Catholic priest threatened by one of his parishioners. In what can only be a career high for Gleeson, the priest spends the next week going about his business in a quiet and understated way.
With a plot heavily linked to the horrific history of child abuse within the Catholic Church, Calvary is frequently an uncomfortable film to watch, but the bleak remote rural setting, sumptuous cinematography, and Gleeson's powerful central performance make this one of the most memorable films to come out of Ireland in recent years.