Saturday, May 26, 2018

"First Reformed"

So very well done ... with minimal, but accurate and biting, commentary on the times in which we live, the state of religion, the influence of money, the loss of hope, the rise of despair.

Ethan Hawke is amazing, and portrays a minister more realistically than I've seen previously. His character's story story is sad, his integrity deep, his sense of the faith, embracing, his struggles profound and agonizing.

It's a dark story, for sure: St John of the Cross, "The Dark Night of the Soul," or Joseph Conrad's "The Heart of the Matter."

I was pulled into the story, mind, body and soul ... yet without sentiment (thankfully).

One profound moment of imagery, the cross (with Amanda Seyfried, whose portrait of a young mother-to-be is profoundly moving) and a quick ending, with "Leaning on the Everlasting
Arms" in the background. I'll not say more.

But see this film - not for entertainment, but for sobriety, and a reminder of God's grace incarnate, and some hints and bits about the goodness of God (but no Hallmark here).

Hats off to Paul Schrader for such a finely crafted film.

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