Calvary is a 2014 Irish film directed by John Michael McDonagh. Rather courageous, the film tries to paint a portrait of an Ireland in full disillusionment, after the 2009 Catholic scandal that revealed hundreds of sexual abuses of underage children … A thorny subject, mastered brilliantly thanks to a stunning Brendan Gleeson!

See the movie Calvary


It all begins in a small village at the foot of Ben Bulben Mountain in County Sligo.

Sitting in his confessional, Father James Lavelle (played by Brendan Gleeson) listens attentively to a believer who has come to confession. But the confession takes an unexpected turn: the stranger explains to him in a tone full of hatred that he has been a victim of sexual abuse by members of the Irish Catholic Church for five years. A shocking revelation, which then leaves the priest speechless, unable to answer anything to this disturbing revelation?

Someone has to pay… An innocent priest to give more weight… then add the faithful. So I’m giving you seven days. Meet me on Sunday at the beach, where I will kill you…

The completely baffled priest finally accepts the appointment… Then begins a long week where the priest will try to do his best to improve the daily life of his village…

A film noir, which raises the question of the crisis of faith

Rather daring and irreverent, Calvary is a daring film, which does not go by 4 ways to display an inconvenient truth… The rather harsh subject matter is treated with cynicism and realism, through an impeccable Brendan Gleeson. This rather sympathetic and irreproachable priest seems to have kept his faith in God while knowing how to remain pragmatic.

Aware of the difficulty of this world, he tries in his own way to accompany each inhabitant of the village, and to give them the keys to improve their daily life… He then multiplies his efforts to guide them and get them out of the cynicism and disillusionment in which they have become entangled. But the task is arduous: his followers not being great figures of virtue…

The film therefore focuses on the 7 days spent by the priest before the macabre rendezvous scheduled for Sunday… He paints the portrait of an Ireland deeply wounded by the excesses of the church. The inhabitants suffer a real “crisis of faith”, where everything is indifference and disillusionment.

A perfectly treated subject, although sometimes particularly heavy, even if the humour tries to defuse as much as possible the ambient uneasiness. A film to be seen without hesitation!