Brendan Gleeson gives a career best performance in a little film with big ideas.
David Lynch’s seminal TV show Twin Peaks helped to introduce the idea of a town or city becoming almost a living breathing character. Brendan Gleeson’s fatherly priest James is continually surprised and stumped by the actions of the inhabitants of the strange little town he has found himself in. It is this sense of the bizarre and unease that drive Calvary forward with enough interesting characters to fill a whole TV show.
Aside from the beautiful Irish countryside and Gleeson’s remarkable performance it is the dialogue that really sets Calvary aside from similar works. Big philosophical ideas are presented as casual chats between acquaintances and the many subliminal messages are hidden beneath the eccentricities of the characters and the wit and humour inherent throughout the script.
Another big plus is the supporting cast with comedians Chris O’ Dowd and Dylan Moran stepping out of their comfort zones in spectacular fashion. Moran in particular is superb, stealing almost every scene he is in with a restrained and vulnerable performance. Kelly Reilly also gives a very strong performance as the cynical counter weight to Gleeson’s warm optimism
Calvary is poetic, beautiful and laugh out loud funny and I instantly wanted to watch it again after the credits rolled. One of the best films of 2014.