A priest struggles with tragedy, the state of the world and his own tortured past. Coming Soon, Regal Will the film’s most appreciative viewers be those who know Schrader’s writings, his previous work and the great films whose influence he freely acknowledges? — First Reformed is a serious and sobering film about the challenges facing contemporary religion and the spiritual riches which abound to those who remain open to grace and the mystery of God. To suffer means to earn salvation is what then becomes the mentality once becoming so engrossed in the religion, but as Toller at one point poses, "Who can know the mind of God?" Directed by Paul Schrader. In the end it has you by the collar and doesn't stop shaking. All rights reserved. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified. Later, in discovering Bresson’s “Pickpocket,” he was electrified because “I sensed a bridge between the spirituality I was raised with and the ‘profane’ cinema I loved. FIRST REFORMED follows a troubled priest named Father Toller (Ethan Hawke) as he tries to help young couple Mary (Amanda Seyfried) and Michael (Philip Ettinger) and is drawn into a tragic series of events. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. Awakening (4 out of 4 stars) 6. Schrader continued, “Church people had been using movies since they first moved to illustrate religious beliefs, but this was something different. Copyright © Fandango. As Toller is in a spiral, as he is literally and metaphorically dying on the inside, he comes to a path that many a Christians seem to find a paradoxical peace in: their own sacrifices. It also has some harsh things to say about the prosperity Gospel-based evangelicalism of … |, August 30, 2020 A character study that draws deeply from writer/director Paul Schrader's personal experience, "First Reformed" is an updated, Americanized blending of Bresson's "Diary of a Country Priest" and Bergman's "Winter Light." The camera encroaches upon a looming, starkly white Dutch Reform Church in upstate New York. Obviously, First Reformed is saturated in spiritual content, from its title, to its setting, to its characters. The soundtrack to "First Reformed" is great. First Reformed review: "A volatile mix of gravitas and grindhouse" Paul Schrader’s best for 20 years. Yet in the moment I deliver that unstinting endorsement, I feel compelled to add that this is a very special film for a certain, inevitably rather limited audience. Read our full First Reformed review from TIFF below. First Reformed's three outstanding central performances (Hawke, Seyfried, Kyles) are complimented by three incisive and crucial supporting turns... Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins I don't believe I've ever seen a film shot so deliberately. Movie review: First Reformed Ethan Hawke stars in a scene from the movie "First Reformed." First Reformed review: "A volatile mix of gravitas and grindhouse" Paul Schrader’s best for 20 years. [It] may not succeed on all fronts, ... but it works its magic where it counts: It's a textbook case, literally, of Schrader's concept of transcendental style. Cinemark We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your account. In his seminal 1972 book Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer (written at age 24, two years before he turned from film criticism to filmmaking), Schrader noted that, “The many statements [Robert] Bresson has made in interviews and discussions, properly arranged, would constitute an accurate analysis of his films (a statement which can be made of no other filmmaker to my knowledge)….” It’s an astute remark, but one which Schrader perhaps now should amend to include himself. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. Even when "First Reformed" veers off into the abyss, Hawke's presence lends it a certain steadying influence. Godfrey Cheshire is a film critic, journalist and filmmaker based in New York City. | Rating: 3.5/4 With his angular frame and ankle-length black cassock, the church’s pastor has a similar iconic starkness. In a welcome new edition of Transcendental Style, he writes of creating “an alternate film reality—a transcendent one,” in which, “The filmmaker, rather than creating a world in which the viewer need only surrender … creates a world in which the spectator must contemplate—or reject out of hand.”. A stunning study of one man’s flaws and an apocalyptic vision of mankind’s fate. He has written for The New York Times, Variety, Film Comment, The Village Voice, Interview, Cineaste and other publications. The pacing could have been tighter, but the slow-burn vibe, the darkening tone, Hawke's mesmerizing deterioration, and the shocking finale are quite absorbing. Despair, hope, faith, isolation, and social decay are all explored to their fullest depths in a manner that is perfect for audiences in 2018. With Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer, Victoria Hill. All (8) tracks on here are great. Spiritual Elements. Ernst Toller (Hawke) is a troubled man. First Reformed is a 2018 thriller about a priest of a small congregation in upstate New York who grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past. A stunning study of one man’s flaws and an apocalyptic vision of mankind’s fate. | Rating: 3/5 Written by Matt Hendricks Ethan Hawke in First Reformed Paul Schrader has been working towards a comeback for a while, now. Coming Soon. Like a Wes Anderson film sapped of any and all whimsy. The congregation that faces him from the church’s spartan pews is minuscule. After his heyday in the 70s and 80s, it’s been a few decades since he’s received widespread praise (see: 1997’s Affliction). |, July 23, 2018 Brought to life by delicate work from writer-director Paul Schrader and elevated by a standout performance by Ethan Hawke, First Reformed takes a sensitive and suspenseful look at weighty themes. | Rotten (16). What this less imposing set of expectations doesn't change though, is that of the DNA of Christianity and how these inherent leanings impose themselves on the psychology of those that are the truest of believers: the ones that feel the most conflict over the many contradictory if not often well-intentioned teachings of the faith. First Reformed depicts a religious culture, like the biosphere, in crisis, perhaps sickness unto death. [Full review in Spanish]. Movies: First Reformed; New England. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy for some disturbing violent images. Ethan Hawke interviewed by Simon Mayo — Kermode and Mayo's Film Review, with Ethan Hawke This clip is related to First Reformed Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist reviewed by Mark Kermode Being the sometimes cocky, but mostly guilt-ridden Catholic that I am I wrongfully assumed that First Reformed was about a Catholic priest coming to terms with the quarrels his mind could no longer ignore and facing this crisis of faith with what the movie could only determine to surprise us with, but in fact First Reformed does not care to follow such a repeated quandary, but is instead the tale of a man who was beaten down by life long before he decided to make the church his one and only true love as Ethan Hawke portrays Reverend Toller, a man who found something of a lucky break in being appointed the priest for a small congregation in upstate New York whose building is now more of a tourist attraction than a place of worship. |, July 24, 2020 The image is an example of a ticket confirmation email that AMC sent you when you purchased your ticket. 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