Set against the magnificent Sligo landscape, John Michael McDonagh’s second feature shares a leading man and a similar dark sense of humour with his debut, the hugely successful The Guard. But this new film is a complex tale with many tones and textures, at once a Dostoyevskian morality fable; a dissection of contemporary Irish society, a murder mystery (from the point of view of the victim) and a fascinating character study with a towering, career-best performance by Brendan Gleeson.

Father James Lavelle (Gleeson) is the priest in a small Sligo parish. One day, while hearing confession, he is told that he is going to be murdered ... in one week. It’s a week in which Father James struggles to understand his death sentence as the day draws near, searching for hope and faith amongst his motley collection of parishioners – a community of lost souls and, it seems, potential murder suspects.

Calvary is a complex and challenging work, part philosophical treatise, part murder mystery, with a fiercely black vein of humour lacing all the elements together. A stunning turn by Gleeson leads a wealth of Irish talent including Chris O’Dowd, Dylan Moran, Kelly Reilly and Pat Shortt. Shot by award-winning cinematographer Larry Smith (Only God Forgives), and featuring a score by Mayo-born composer Patrick Cassidy, Calvary is a work of savage ferocity and a wonder to behold.

Gráinne Humphreys
Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

All ticket holders will be invited to attend a gala reception after the screening.