Brendan Gleeson is an icon. Truly one of the most delectable and intelligent actors out there, his works across the years are testament to his, above all else, moving talents. He can weave naturalistic humour into humanistic drama and round his characters off with compassion or intensity dependent on what side of the villain line they fall. Not only has he been the face of beloved franchise characters such as Mad Eye Moody but he has been a regular in thoughtful dramas and black comedies such as the genius In Bruges. Especially drama coming from the emerald isles. Now with his latest film, The Grand Seduction, hitting cinemas today, let's have a look at one of his defining (or divining) roles in John Michael McDonaghs Calvary.
McDonagh's script and directing is told in pure spectatre form. Though James knows, the audience never does, making his plight a case for sanctuary rather than a "whodunnit" piece. Adding a rather impressive layer of intrigue, McDonagh enthuses this brilliantly slow paced drama with a spark of ingenuity. Landing the drama squarely on Father James' shoulders focuses the intense story and allows it to travel through the themes represented. There is no pivotal centre or message, and that is it's brilliance. Combining the virtues of religion, a man who found faith and the devastation corrupted Priests who enact sexual abuse caused, Calvary becomes this piece about humanity, courageously addressing sensitivity with humour, wit and intelligence.
Calvary has, indeed, many layers that slowly peal away to reveal another astute aspect of the tale. With Kelly Reily, Chris ODowd, Gleeson's son Domnhall and Aiden Gillian giving powerful characters that mesmerise, this drama is purely phenomenal. As the incredible end transpires and unfolds delectly, you are awash with the overall stunning film.
Sublime, Calvary is one of the best films of the year.
The Grand Seduction is out in cinemas now