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1 review, 26 user ratings

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Into Temptation
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by brianorndorf

"Enter the hot zone of sin also known as...Minneapolis!"
4 stars

Sex, sin, and Catholic guilt. If there’s a better recipe for cinematic troublemaking, I don’t want to know about it. “Into Temptation” dives into the deep end of collar-tightening, rosary-fingering unrest, creating a riveting momentum as it looks to articulate the push and pull between the obligations of religion and the overwhelming sway of sexuality. Sharply constructed with a heavy spray of noirish aroma, “Into Temptation” is a uniquely accomplished indie film, wielding salacious material sensitively, building an intoxicating sense of intrigue and discomfort.

Slightly bored with his daily business as a priest, Father John Buerlien (Jeremy Sisto) finds the arrival of a prostitute named Linda (Kristin Chenoweth) in his confessional captures his curiosity. Asking for absolution before she attempts suicide, Linda takes off into the night, leaving John consumed with finding her. Delving into the seedy underbelly of the city, John questions a series of unsavory types to learn more about this mysterious woman entangled in his every thought. Linda, on a crash course with death, seeks her own peace, confronting the violations of her life as she prepares for the end.

It’s a difficult proposition to craft a film concerning a priest dealing with his celibacy in the growing shadow of everyday lust. Writer/director Patrick Coyle treats the soulful disturbance with tremendous care, shaping a tale of obsession that’s soothing in surprising ways and utterly respectful of its characters. It’s terrific filmmaking that winds John’s distress methodically, observing the priest shaken out of the coma of his daily life by Linda’s confession, finding urges submerged long ago creeping back into his thoughts, challenging the rigidity of his heavenly devotion. In the great tradition of high drama, Coyle muddies the water further with the introduction of Nadine (played vibrantly by Amy Matthews), John’s one and only girlfriend, who has returned decades later, hopeful to reignite their love affair.

Coyle allows his actors marvelous scenes of introspection, gathering these silent moments to nurture a pensive mood of deliberation as John and Linda contemplate their life-changing choices. Of course, this retrieves career-best work from Sisto (wonderfully torn and aware), while Chenoweth is permitted an unusually grim role she’s handles beautifully. Linda isn’t a one-note lady of the night, but a damaged, abused soul electing to end a lifelong series of betrayals and numbing sexual interactions. Chenoweth is raw and real, shaping a devastating portrait of emotional submission limping to the end. Thankfully, Coyle doesn’t push the cast into melodramatic nonsense, maintaining a nice edge of authenticity to the reactions and generous meditation that goes on during the film.

Magnificently shot by cinematographer David Doyle (who turns happy-go-lucky Minneapolis into an imposing den of sin) and backed by a soft jazz score by Russell Holsapple, “Into Temptation” renders John’s mission as a classic detective story of sorts, creating workable mystery and threat as John plunges further into immorality to chase clues, frightening his congregation and startling his confidant (Brian Baumgartner). Coyle attempts to tie it all neatly together in the end, and while I wasn’t convinced by the outcome, the journey there is tremendously satisfying, reinforced by superbly confident filmmaking.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=19921&reviewer=404
originally posted: 10/16/09 09:36:23
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User Comments

7/17/13 mr.mike On Lifetime yes. In theatres no. 2 stars
8/30/11 David Evans Economical, quiet fllm paying respectful devotion to a variety of lost souls. 5 stars
12/30/10 Maureen Thoughtful. No cliches. Nice work from all the actors. 4 stars
3/06/10 James An uncomfortable and curious beginning evolved into a powerful and moving ending. Smart,] 4 stars
2/25/10 david i thought it was horrid. incredibly slow, and actually quite boring. i usually luv indies 2 stars
12/25/09 Jim Absorbing take of a powerful story line 5 stars
11/12/09 Moira One of the best movies I've ever seen. I have recommended it to many people. 5 stars
10/28/09 Sheri A great film - saw it twice so far 5 stars
10/24/09 Kyle Entertaining and thought-provoking...a movie that inspires lively discussion! 5 stars
10/23/09 Karen Barrett-Jeffrey Loved the subject matter -great to see a different take on the priesthood 5 stars
10/23/09 Margaret This film is what movie-making is all about--see it now! 5 stars
10/23/09 Rosie An outstanding film. I am recommending it to all my friends. 5 stars
10/23/09 Michal Douthit Fantastic Film! Magnificent Cast! I loved every minute of it! 5 stars
10/23/09 Betty Captivating and entertaining! 5 stars
10/23/09 Cathy Very compelling in its portrayal of discernment in the midst of very difficult lives... 5 stars
10/23/09 Iva Mueller Riveting. Will see it a third time to "catch it all" 5 stars
10/23/09 Deborah Engaging and unpredictable depth in the storyline and the characters. 5 stars
10/22/09 Betty Neary Three time see-er! Layered... stays with you 5 stars
10/21/09 melissa Was told to see it by a friend. LOVED IT! 5 stars
10/21/09 Pat Simply powerful! Excellent! See this movie! 5 stars
10/21/09 Meghan Sommer An intelligent and beautiful film that s both mysterious and wonderful. Please go see it. 5 stars
10/21/09 Bernadette Thought provoking, I had to return to see it again and again 5 stars
10/21/09 Alisia This movie covers all emotions and has something for everyone! An awesome indie film 4 stars
10/20/09 Maureen Kennedy Grabbed me right from the start, made me laugh and cry. A must see 5 stars
10/20/09 Kay Osentowski Absolutely outstanding movie. Without question the best indie film I have ever seen 5 stars
10/20/09 Susan Absolutely stunning movie. The best I have seen in years 5 stars
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  16-Oct-2009 (R)
  DVD: 27-Oct-2009



Directed by
  Patrick Coyle

Written by
  Patrick Coyle

  Jeremy Sisto
  Kristen Chenoweth
  Brian Baumgartner

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