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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly

Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly

“CALVARY” My rating: C+ (Opening  Aug. 15 at the Glenwood at Red Bridge, the AMC Studio 30, and the Cinemark Plaza)

100 minutes | MPAA rating: R

Not even a great-ish performance from Brendan Gleeson can disguise the confusion at the heart of “Calvary,” the new Irish movie from writer/director John Michael McDonagh.

As the film begins it seems to be setting up a Hitchcockian dilemma.  In the confessional, Father James (Gleeson) is threatened by a parishioner who as a child was repeatedly raped by his parish priest.

The perpetrator is long dead, but the victim still wants revenge. He announces (we hear his voice, but don’t see him) that in just a week he will kill Father James. The fact that James is a good priest and in no way connected to the long-ago outrage will only make for a more devastating “statement.”

James thinks he knows who this individual is.  And his superior informs him that when a priest’s life is threatened, the sanctity of the confessional is no longer an issue. James is free to go to the police.

But he doesn’t…which is only one of many improbabilities McDonagh pile atop one another.

(more…)

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Brendan Gleeson

“THE GUARD” My rating: B+ (Opens wide on Sept. 2)

96 minutes | Audience rating: R 

Brendan Gleeson has always been a great actor, but he’s spent most of his life in supporting roles.

“The Guard” won’t change that, but it should.

This absolutely wonderful film from first-time feature director John Michael McDonagh (who also penned the script) finds Gleeson dominating every second he’s on screen in a role tailor-made for his imposing physical presence and bullish personality.

The movie is a crime saga, a buddy flick, a black comedy…but most of all it’s a terrific character study of a guy we’re not sure we like, but who grabs our attention and won’t let go.

Gleeson here plays Sgt. Gerry Boyle, a member of the Guardia (Ireland’s national police force) stationed on the west coast near Galway.

Boyle is fat, cynical and sarcastic…at first glance he might be the Hibernian equivalent of a redneck Southern sheriff. (more…)

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