Am Sonntag bist du tot (2014)

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Am Sonntag bist du tot: Directed by John Michael McDonagh. With Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen. After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him.

“u0026quot;Itu0026#39;s just you have no integrity. Thatu0026#39;s the worst thing I could say about anybody.u0026quot; Father James Lavelle (Brendan Glesson)u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eChild abuse and the Catholic Church are synonymous these days, but the depiction of that global tragedy has been spotty until now. Calvary, a subtly powerful independent film starring Brendan Gleeson as Pastor James Lavelle in a small Irish town, has the horror of abuse mitigated by an Agatha Christie-like thriller premise, an effective distraction that allows us to ramble around meeting parishioners, one of whom is the man who vowed in the confessional heu0026#39;d murder Fr. James in a week. That week turns out to be, as one critic describes it, a Stations-of-the- Cross endurance run.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe would-be assassin was abused as a child, carrying with him the bitterness of the experience and the murderous rage for revenge. Yet, Calvary is more than a quiet screed against the neglect of the Church; it is also about a hamlet that harbors miscreants in other abuses: Writer/director John Michael McDonagh (whose brother, Martin, helmed another Irish classic, In Bruges), assembles corrupt bankers, wife beaters, cynics, adulterers—I may have forgotten some sins, but you get the idea. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFather James deals with the sinners in a calm, knowing way that evidences a man who has lost enough in life to be empathetic, an effective counselor who tells it like it is. Helping relay the sense of isolation and majesty of the town are Mark Gerahtyu0026#39;s moderately vivid interiors and cinematographer Larry Smithu0026#39;s grand exteriors with the right mixture of ominous bluffs and lush countryside.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis naturalism is not to say that Fr. James is a bad or weak man—itu0026#39;s a backdrop that highlights his essential innocence, almost to naiveté. At least he is good, compared to the sinning priests who people our headlines today. He also reflects the growing awareness in all of us Catholics that the Church is in part corrupt. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFr. Jamesu0026#39; faith is tested, as is ours, when he experiences his effect on the parishioners he visits in maybe his last week. All are not your standard sinners, however, for his altar boy, Michael (Micheal Og Lane) evidences an understanding of lifeu0026#39;s ironies better than most adults. The scenes between Michael and Fr. James are some of the best because of the quick-witted repartee reminiscent of screwball comedy.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYes, Calvary, rooted in Christu0026#39;s sacrifice, can be humorous, and depending on your sense of humor, hilarious.”


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