HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
In the Strange Pursuit of Laura Durand
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Amulet
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
   
 
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Priest It's A Sin
Year: 1994
Director: Antonia Bird
Stars: Linus Roache, Tom Wilkinson, Robert Carlyle, Cathy Tyson, Lesley Sharp, Robert Pugh, James Ellis, Christine Tremarco, Paul Barber, Rio Fanning, Gilly Coman, Anthony Booth, John Bennett, Fred Pearson, Matyelok Gibbs, Bobby Martino
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) has arrived in this inner city Liverpool diocese after the previous priest (James Ellis), the man he is replacing, went berserk and rammed the window of the bishop's home with a weighty crucifix he had taken from the church. This should have been a strong hint as to the emotional and spiritual turmoil that Greg will soon be going through, but as he moves in with Father Matthew Thomas (Tom Wilkinson) his conservative views are at odds with this man who is having an affair with his housekeeper Maria (Cathy Tyson). But Father Greg has a secret of his own...

Priest was writer Jimmy McGovern's first work for the big screen to be adapted, granted by the BBC for future showing on their channels, as he had made his name in Britain as a skilled writer for television, one who was most comfortable being confrontational. Not that he was being argumentative for the sake of contrariness, as there was a fierce intelligence behind his writing that because of his passionate views did tip his efforts into melodrama at times. Mostly, though, McGovern was provocative in the best sense, tackling big ideas and issues through his chosen medium, as he did here with the controversial taking on of the Catholic Church.

Not that Priest made much of a diifference other than ruffling a few religious feathers, and you could have accused it of playing to the gallery without a hope of forcing the hand of anyone in power. If anything, McGovern was taking on too many aspects of the Catholic establishment at once, as the film is nothing if not busy, with the focus shifting from one part of Father Greg's worries to another and only really tying them together at the end with a message of the importance of forgiveness. In its liberal fashion, it liked to think that the most conservative of men could find a way to open up and see the light of the middle ground, and even the left wing, so instead of exposing Greg's hypocrisy it preferred to understand him and be sympathetic.

So what does he have to contend with in this job? For a start there's the celibacy question, where Father Matthew offends him by carrying on in a loving relationship with Maria, with neither of them exploiting the other, not something the powers that be in the Church are content with, although here they turn a blind eye. No sooner than we have that to chew over than a more personal issue arises for Greg, and that's his homosexuality, which exhibits itself after he is frustrated by the poverty and apathy he sees by going to a gay bar and picking up Graham (Robert Carlyle, who McGovern had written a starmaking role for in his Cracker series). Soon he has fallen in love, and is wrestling with his conscience.

But if McGovern saw that the Catholics should have accepted priests' love lives, to contrast he brought up yet another plotline as Greg finds out in confession that one teenage girl (Christine Tremarco) in his flock is being abused by her father (Robert Pugh), a vile monster who turns up for his own confession to warn Greg from saying anything. Of course the priest should have gone to the authorities, or at very least told the girl's mother (Lesley Sharp), but his code of conduct prevents him, something else which evdently angers the writer. This pressure cooker situation is going to boil over at some point, and it's wondering how things can possibly resolve themselves that proves compelling. McGovern and director Antonia Bird were not coming to this from an atheist or even agnostic angle, and did have faith that God was a necessary part of life even if his subjects were confused about His message, so if Priest did have too much on its plate it did what it set out to do, and spark debate. Music by Andy Roberts.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2733 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Antonia Bird  (1959 - 2013)

British director who moved from television into films with the controversial Priest. Hollywood beckoned, but Mad Love was an unhappy experience, and she returned to Britain to direct heist movie Face, which led to cannibal horror Ravenous, then a return to television. Frequently worked with Robert Carlyle.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: