10 August 2014

Blu-ray Review - Calvary (2014)

eOne UK
BD/DVD Release Date:
11th August 2014 (UK)
Rating: 15
Running Time:
100 Minutes
John Michael McDonagh
Brendan gleeson, Dylan Moran, Isaach de Bankolé, Chris O’Dowd
Buy:Calvary [Blu-ray] [2014]

John Michael McDonagh directs Calvary; he is the brother of noted director and playwright Martin McDonagh who directed In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. They have a very similar knack for witty dialogue and Calvary is no exception. It became a hit on the festival circuit, receiving a very positive response from critics during its theatrical release and deservedly so.

Brendan Gleeson plays Father James Lavelle who is a good priest on a small Irish island. His life is threatened during the confession of an unknown man who reveals that he was molested by a priest, and who now wants to kill a good priest for vengeance. It’s a film that deals with regret, guilt and death but it’s a hilarious black comedy at the same time. It may deal with a “dramatic” subject matter but it perfectly combines comedy and tragedy seamlessly.

Brendan Gleeson has been great for some time in supporting roles throughout various films, spanning from art house films to big budget films such as Harry Potter. This is his second collaboration with John Michael McDonagh after The Guard; it’s a fantastic, nuanced performance of a man facing his eventual fate by putting everything he needs in place as good as he can.

It also has a great supporting cast with Dylan Moran, Isaach de Bankolé and Chris O’Dowd among others. It’s best described as a cross between Father Ted and In Bruges which is a fair comparison, even if the film has a slightly more dramatic bent. The last 20 minutes don’t quite gel as much as the first 80, but it’s still a very funny, thoughtful and entertaining film that is worth checking out.


Ian Scultz

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