During the winter it’s a good time to re-visit some movies that may have been otherwise missed. Once per month I invite a dozen friends or so to come to the house and sit together and watch films that tell the story of redemption. Here’s what I will be showing this year:
The 2014 Irish drama written and directed by John Michael McDonagh is the second film in which McDonagh uses an iconic and quirky leading character. Many critics see McDonagh’s first film, The Guard (2011) and now, Calvary as a continuing piece of art that places both protagonists into the position of gatekeeper. From this position Brennan Gleeson, who plays both leading roles superbly, navigates the waters of community life, for good and for ill.
In Calvary, Gleeson plays a Catholic priest to a small western Irish village. To dramatize the plight of the human condition, he is given a week to set his affairs in order before a disgruntled parishioner will kill him as retribution for the sins of guilty Catholic priests. The language is rough with f-bombs used liberally. Nevertheless, the visual beauty of the coastline and the compelling characters make this film one of my favorites.
This 1998 Sam Rami directed film is the least favorite of the four but I find it the most captivating in terms of spun out behavior. So often in my work with families and parolees, I found their best laid plans often mushroomed out of control and the most basic indiscretion became an addicting proclivity.
In this film, brothers uncover a cash trove from a drug transaction gone bad. Their basic efforts to keep the secret stash colors the rest of their relationships and actions.
A former world class soccer player crosses paths with a waitress. Together they untangle and redeem the dreams and plans of their shattered pasts.
While while receiving mixed critical reviews, it seems to resonate with audiences, beginning with its capture of the “People’s Awards” at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006.
The incredibly handsome Eduardo Verástegui playing José makes most female audiences say it is worth the slow action.
How did Robert Duvall or Bill Murray not get Oscar nods for this 2009 film?
Duvall plays a hermit who throws a funeral party for himself after being the scourge of the town for the past 40 years. Murray and Lucas Black play funeral directors tasked with throwing the shindig.