Archive of films Calvary / Calvary

Ireland / United Kingdom
2014, 100 min

Section: Variety Critics’ Choice: Europe Now!
Year: 2014

Reuniting The Guard star Brendan Gleeson with writer-director John Michael McDonagh, this masterful follow-up features Gleeson as a tough-minded Irish priest marked for death by one of his parishioners. The film offers a mordantly funny survey of small-town iniquity that morphs, almost imperceptibly, into a deeply felt lament for a fallen world.


Writer-director John Michael McDonagh and actor Brendan Gleeson made a big splash with 2011’s The Guard, which offered little indication of the depths of humor, compassion, despair and grace they would achieve in their next collaboration. From the shadows of a confessional, an unseen man tells his local priest (Gleeson) how he was sexually abused as a child, a crime for which he will exact retribution in the most irrational way imaginable. "There’s no point in killing a bad priest,” he says. "I’m going to kill you because you’re innocent.” What follows is an existential detective story of sorts, or perhaps an Agatha Christie whodunit by way of Hitchcock’s I Confess, in which the priest goes about his coastal village, tending to his flock while a seven-day clock ticks quietly away in the background. What he finds is a community steeped in anger, disappointment and a near-total indifference to contemporary questions of faith.

Justin Chang

About the director

John Michael McDonagh

John Michael McDonagh (b. 1967, London) is a British-born writer and director of Irish descent. His first important cinematic endeavor was the screenplay for Ned Kelly (2003), director Gregor Jordan’s adaptation of the Robert Drew novel Our Sunshine. McDonagh’s directorial debut, the comedy thriller The Guard (2011), was a critical and box-office success and the most successful independent Irish film of all time. McDonagh calls it the first part of a planned "Glorified Suicide Trilogy,” whose second part is the recent Calvary. Both films were successfully premiered at the Sundance festival.


Fox Searchlight Pictures UK
Twentieth Century House, 31/32 Soho Square, W1D 3AP, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 314 7005
Fax: +44 207 753 0112

CinemArt, a.s.
Národní 60/28, 111 21, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 949 110
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Variety Critics’ Choice: Europe Now!
Director: John Michael McDonagh
Screenplay: John Michael McDonagh
Dir. of Photography: Larry Smith
Music: Patrick Cassidy
Editor: Chris Gill
Producer: Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez Marengo, James Flynn
Production: Reprisal films
Coproduction: Lipsync Productions
Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran
Contact: Fox Searchlight Pictures UK, CinemArt, a.s.
Distributor: CinemArt, a.s.


Aleš Danielis


Marek Jeníček

Distributor, Producer

Lizzie Eves


John Michael McDonagh

Film Director

Aleš Tříska

Distributor, Producer

Irena Kobosilová

Distributor, PR & Marketing

Jaroslav Kutheil


Pavel Novák


Petr Slavík

Distributor, PR & Marketing

Zuzana Černá



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