Brendan Gleeson’s Father James, a man with a scruffy ginger beard, flowing black cassock, and bottomless well of empathy, is out of step with the cynics and sinners in his seaside parish. The title of John Michael McDonagh’s Irish import refers to the site of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. In a sense, the film itself is a slow death march: One of the priest’s confessors threatens to kill him for the church’s sins. Unlike the director’s last collaboration with Gleeson, 2011’s The Guard, Calvary never quite finds its footing (the tone is muddled; the villagers are quirky cartoons). Gleeson’s beautiful acting deserves a better movie. B-
CALVARY Brendan Gleeson and Kelly Reilly (Jonathon Hession)
Genre: Comedy; Starring: Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Gillen, Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly; Director: John Michael McDonagh; Runtime (in minutes): 100; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Posted August 1 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT
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