I had seen the title Calvary bandied about before the Surprise Film, but all I knew about it was that it starred Brendan Gleeson as a priest. It turned out to be much much more than that. As it ended, it was clear that the audience was completely stunned. I have only experienced that before with Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, where the final scene is a depiction of the end of the world. Featuring Chris O’Dowd, Aiden Gillan and Dylan Moran, the humour (and there’s a lot of it) is pitch black throughout. The film opens with a surprising “confession”, that I won’t spoil for you, and explores themes of revenge, redemption, and fate. The performances are excellent, the script is fantastic, with some fine meta-referencing evident, but only so much as you’d notice, not enough to annoy.
If you like noir, you’ll love it, but get your house in order first.