Writer/Director John Michael McDonagh, whose previous film ‘The Guard’ looked at the relationship between an FBI agent and an unorthodox Irish policeman (Brendan Gleeson), returns to the theme of binary opposites within an Irish community with ‘Calvary’ - named after the site where Jesus was crucified but transported to rural Ireland.
Winner of the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at Berlin the film again stars Gleeson, this time as the priest who is not without sin himself (steeped in death and darkness), presiding over a parish with dark secrets.
Daughter (Kelly Reilly), recovering from a suicide attempt, makes a really believable father/daughter dynamic with Gleeson, their relationship often fused with a dark comedic tone. The cast is completed by an assortment of eccentric parishioners including Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran and Aiden Gillen.
McDonagh is really wresting with the application of faith, the film provokes thought and laughter while continuously saying quite a lot about the human condition.