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1 review, 9 user ratings

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Priest (1995)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"A compelling drama beyond the controversy."
5 stars

Originally to be released in America on Good Friday (Miramax, caving to pressure, scuttled that witty idea), Antonia Bird’s shapely, impassioned drama is actually about as anti-Catholic as the Pope — though Catholics with ingrained ideas about the Church will surely disagree.

Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) has just arrived at a working-class parish in Liverpool, replacing an elderly priest who has left the Church in a bitter rage. Greg soon finds himself subject to his own rage. Living with the freewheeling Father Matthew (the appealing Tom Wilkinson), who enjoys guiltless sex with his housekeeper (Cathy Tyson), the young, chiselled Greg seems a parody of prim Catholic rectitude — until we learn that he’s covering for his own sexual lapses. Late at night, Greg hops onto his bicycle and scoots down to a gay bar.

As if that weren’t burden enough, a sad-faced girl confesses to Greg that her father has been making her “do things.” As Greg wrestles with his faith and his impulses as a human being, and Matthew looks on and tries to get him to look at the big picture, Priest becomes didactic but satisfying. Greg’s true sin, it turns out, is to deny his honest response to people — to fellow suffering humans — in the name of the Church. The movie suggests that priests are pushed into the unnatural, un-Christian position of being above all others.

A provocative film, with persuasive work by Roache.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=690&reviewer=416
originally posted: 04/03/07 19:47:46
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User Comments

1/31/14 Ron Patterson Loved it, loved it, loved it. 5 stars
4/04/07 Charles Tatum An excellent, draining experience 5 stars
7/21/00 AA A great, if slightly predictable movie. An important film. 5 stars
9/15/99 Liliana Ruti An excellent movie-a philisophical expose of the hipocritical nature of organised religion 5 stars
12/07/98 Binky A very good film, even though the religious right tried to stop it. 5 stars
11/24/98 Mr.Pink Powerful TV-movie 4 stars
10/25/98 Lucy B. Absolutelutely terrific! Daring and surprising. It never lets you down. A must see! 5 stars
10/05/98 Tommy Maguire This one stirs all the emotions. A simple tale that hits all the right nerves. Wonderful. 5 stars
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  24-Mar-1995 (R)



Directed by
  Antonia Bird

Written by
  Jimmy McGovern

  Linus Roache
  Tom Wilkinson
  Robert Carlyle
  Cathy Tyson
  Lesley Sharp
  Robert Pugh

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