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Calvary - Bank Holiday Movie Outing

Meet in The Camera Cafe, which is the cafe of the Barbican's cinema building, @ 6pm for a quick meet 'n' greet 'n' coffee before the movie at 6:30pm. The movie is 100 mins long so there's time for a drink and a bite after should we feel the need!

This film looks very good, no longer on at Stratford except after 8:50pm - but the Barbican Cinema is very good and a few minutes' walk from Barbican Station.

Time Out rating: ****

Time Out Review:

What do you say to a priest you plan to shoot pointblank between the eyes? ‘Say your prayers,’ of course. Part ‘Father Ted’, part Tarantino, John Michael McDonagh follows up 2011’s ‘The Guard’ with this wickedly funny black comedy, all gallows humour, with both a beating heart and an inquiring mind lingering beneath its tough-guy bluster.

The mighty Brendan Gleeson – a man built like a wardrobe, with a face like he’s been left on a cliff-edge, battered by north winds – plays Father James, a good priest. In the confession box, a man tells him how he was raped by a priest at the age of seven. That priest is now dead, so it’s Father James who must pay. The mystery voice gives James seven days to put his affairs in order: the murder is fixed for next Sunday.

Don’t go expecting a priestly Poirot. This is a sly, shaggy-dog mystery. McDonagh casts the best of Irish as the frankly insane locals. Any one of them might be the would-be culprit. Is it the coke-snorting cynical local doctor? The intellectually-challenged racist butcher (Chris O’Dowd)? There is some brilliant comedy among this lineup of oddballs.

But ‘Calvary’ has its flaws – not all the characters tickle, and McDonagh’s brand of surreal, black humour is an acquired taste as it slips in the big questions. What’s the point? Isn’t it all completely meaningless? Why would God create a serial killer? That’ll be a shade too dark for some. Everyone else, sit back and enjoy. And hats off to Gleeson, for a career-best – an authentic, heart-and-soul performance. Whatever the weather, he has a face you could watch for hours.

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  • Maureen

    Hi Sheila, so sorry I can't make it to your meetup. Hope you enjoy the film and see you soon.

    May 2, 2014

  • Clive

    This is a powerful and very good film with Brendan Gleeson immense once again. It is not however 'just' another 'In Bruges' or 'The Guard '. Another black comedy to be sure but less funny than the previous films and more brooding, thoughtful and serious than usual. Well worth seeing - challenging as well as entertaining, definitely not frothy entertainment. Not a date movie!

    1 · April 28, 2014

    • Sheila C

      Thanks, Clive - useful to have a review from one of us!

      1 · April 28, 2014

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