***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED OVER AT THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON 10TH APRIL, HERE***
Director: John Michael McDonagh.
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran, Aidan Gillen, David Wilmot, Orla O’Rourke, Killian Scott, Isaach De Bankole, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Owen Sharpe, Domhnall Gleeson.
Running Time: 100 minutes.
Synopsis: A normal day in the parish turns into a week of second-guessing and paranoia as a kind, genuine priest’s life is threatened by an unknown member of his congregation.
Sea, sand and serial killers. You’ve got to love the Irish coast. John Michael McDonagh returns after a three-year hiatus, once again penning and directing an Irish-set black comedy starring Brendan Gleeson. Considerably darker than previous effort, THE GUARD, McDonagh has written an allegoric, hard-hitting piece that isn’t afraid to point fingers at the place in which its lead character finds sanctuary – the Church.
Opening to the claustrophobic refuge of confession, we meet Father James Lavelle, the local priest. It may seem an unremarkable location for Gleeson’s character to start his cinematic journey, but the revelations soon turn sour as the person bearing his soul and atoning for his sins tells the man of the cloth that he’s going to kill him. In seven days. Better start making your peace, then, Father. Continue reading