Director: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson
In the opening scene of John Michael McDonagh's Calvary a man enters the confessional and informs the film's protagonist, Father James (Brendan Gleeson), that he's going to murder him the following Sunday. It isn't because James has done anything wrong; on the contrary it's precisely because he's a "good" priest that the man is going to take his life. Killing a bad priest would accomplish nothing, he reasons, but killing a good priest would send a message - besides, the specific priest who abused him is already dead. Calvary then follows James for the next seven days as he has encounters with various people in the village, some of whom may be the man who intends to kill him, all of whom have mortality on their mind, though none are marching towards their ends with as much certainty as James. While films about topics as heated as the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandals are, perhaps, destined to be divisive, McDonagh's carefully crafted drama handles the subject with intelligence and sensitivity.