Cert: 15 Year: 2017 Length: 113 mins
With thanks to one of our members who suggested this film. "It's been a long journey for Paul Schrader, the screenwriter who gave us American classics such as 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull' and 'American Gigolo'. In recent years, [he] also delivered a string of not-so-classics such as the tawdry and embarrassing Lindsay Lohan vehicle 'The Canyons' and the Nic Cage clunker 'Dog Eat Dog', both of which he directed. It was fair to think Schrader's best work was far in the rear view, and he would ride off as a once-vital talent who faded into the sunset. Now comes 'First Reformed', which Schrader wrote and directed, and it shows a raging fire still burns deep within the 71year-old. 'First Reformed' is a passionate, unnerving and almost unbearably tense drama about faith, conviction and the rotting core of life on our planet. It's the Schrader many hoped was still alive and kicking but doubted we would ever see again. What a comeback" - Adam Graham, Detroit News.
Ethan Hawke plays Toller, pastor of the First Reformed Church, the oldest church in Albany County, New York. Mary (Amanda Seyfried), part of his tiny, diminishing flock comes to Toller to get him to talk sense into her husband who is beset with doubts over their forthcoming baby - his radical environmental views makes him fear for the baby. Toller, who is himself full of doubts, tries to help, but his own fears make him less than convincing.
Ethan Hawke, whose great gift as an actor is that you can almost never see him acting, is superb as the troubled pastor who is driven towards desperate acts by his concerns about the world around him
Wendy Ide, Observer
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