Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Several friends recommended this movie to me when it came out last year but it came and went so fast in my local theater I missed it. Caught it tonight on cable and can see why they liked it and thought I would. I can't say the ending left me satisfied, and the plot, though full of unexpected twists, was still a little too obvious at too many points for my taste.

Yet and still, as we used to say, CALVARY is a masterpiece of filmmaking in many ways, especially in yet another masterful performance by Brendan Gleeson, and a cast of characters played by actors you'll recognize from a lot of movies (e.g. BRIDESMAIDS) and TV (e.g. GAME OF THRONES) whose performances are mostly impressive. And the Irish landscapes come to life on screen are extraordinary, as they often are in person.

CALVARY's themes bring up but don't resolve almost all, incredibly, the contradictions let alone confusion wrought by the changes in Ireland over just the last two decades or so (being the first country in the world to democratically vote to make same-gender marriages legal being just the latest), but not very subtly. The characters themselves are aware of their own obviousness, but still enact the new cliches that have replaced the centuries-old ones.

It's not an easy movie, despite it's beauty and Gleeson's impeccable, as always, performance. And that may be in the end its strongest attribute. Definitely worth seeing and arguing over.

1 comment:

tpw said...

You're right on all accounts. Great movie, but the ending was truly jarring.