Even when "First Reformed" veers off into the abyss, Hawke's presence lends it a certain steadying influence. |, July 23, 2018 The film encourages its audience to consider and, frankly, to care more about the environment—a message that may not resonate equally with some Christians. Yet in the moment I deliver that unstinting endorsement, I feel compelled to add that this is a very special film for a certain, inevitably rather limited audience. By Owen Gleiberman Verified reviews are considered more trustworthy by fellow moviegoers. The title of First Reformed, Paul Schrader’s best film in a very long time, refers to an old abolitionist church in upstate New York, a metaphor for Christianity’s neglected values.The First Reformed has no congregation to speak of, only visitors and tourists, and its care has fallen into the hands of a lost soul, the gentle, hollow-cheeked Rev. Critics Pick Film Review: ‘First Reformed’ Paul Schrader pours all his obsessions, from Robert Bresson to pulp violence, into a grindhouse art film you can't stop watching. Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the Oscar Nominations! A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past. First Reformed is generally a sparsely attended church meaning that Toller doesn't have to do much direct ministering, although he does have the stock answers when asked how God factors into this or that situation in one's life | Rating: 8/10 It all comes together to form an experience in which the visuals and ethics are equally grey while amorality reigns supreme. What this less imposing set of expectations doesn't change though, is that of the DNA of Christianity and how these inherent leanings impose themselves on the psychology of those that are the truest of believers: the ones that feel the most conflict over the many contradictory if not often well-intentioned teachings of the faith. There are no approved quotes yet for this movie. First Reformed (2018) Review Posted on September 11, 2018 at 1:29 pm. Regal His ecclesiastical superior, the buoyant pastor of a local megachurch (a fine performance by Cedric the Entertainer), tries to coax him out of his gloom and enlist his help in planning for the celebration of his church’s 250th anniversary. To watch First Reformed is to stare unsparingly into the most basic, unanswerable philosophical questions we have. To suffer means to earn salvation is what then becomes the mentality once becoming so engrossed in the religion, but as Toller at one point poses, "Who can know the mind of God?" The Rev. At night, alone, he drinks and begins to confess his misery to a journal (a Bressonian device that Schrader has used in “Taxi Driver,” “Light Sleeper” and other films). In First Reformed, the writer/director is very much speaking to the time in which the film has been made as this is a story of a man full of anxieties and uncertainties despite his outward facade of peace and a certain serene stillness that only such measured priests can uphold. Yet “First Reformed” leaves its large front door open to anyone who accepts its invitation to adopt a contemplative stance toward cinema. Cinemark Neither is what Schrader’s after. The son was killed, Toller’s marriage collapsed and he was left devastated. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, so why am I excused from such an act? First Reformed 2017 ★★★★★ Watched Jun 10, 2018. A character study that draws deeply from writer/director Paul Schrader's personal experience, "First Reformed" is an updated, Americanized blending of Bresson's "Diary of a Country Priest" and Bergman's "Winter Light." There are very perceptible shades of "Taxi Driver" in "First Reformed". Despair, hope, faith, isolation, and social decay are all explored to their fullest depths in a manner that is perfect for audiences in 2018. Slow and calm drama in 4:3 aspect ratio (which fits the mood perfectly) and almost entirely static camera work, relying mostly on its writing and the great acting. As Toller is in a spiral, as he is literally and metaphorically dying on the inside, he comes to a path that many a Christians seem to find a paradoxical peace in: their own sacrifices. When a minister is asked to help a depressed environmental activist who ends up committing suicide, he takes up the environmentalist's cause and becomes radicalized. First Reformed is a work that makes us question whether it is better to pick up a gun and fight in the name of a noble cause, or perhaps lay down our arms and take whatever moments of … Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified. |, November 9, 2018 Movie review: First Reformed Ethan Hawke stars in a scene from the movie "First Reformed." First Reformed ’s ending is definitely oblique, but I saw Mary as being more than a woman Toller finds connection with. First Reformed is a near perfect offering from cinematic master Paul Schrader, and another notch on the belt for the impressive studio A24. Does the activist plan to protest humanity’s destruction by staging his own? Read Common Sense Media's First Reformed review, age rating, and parents guide. All rights reserved. However, the film becomes a little propaganda-ish and takes a pretty hard turn toward extremism without much explanation as to why the minister suddenly takes up this cause to the exclusion of all others or how he's able to reconcile his violent intentions with his faith. A stunning study of one man’s flaws and an apocalyptic vision of mankind’s fate. Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” in which Ethan Hawke brilliantly plays an alcoholic Protestant minister undergoing a profound spiritual and psychological crisis, is a stunning, enrapturing film, a crowning work by one of the American cinema’s most essential artists. | Rating: 3.5/4 This is a great soundtrack / score from Lustmord. In a welcome new edition of Transcendental Style, he writes of creating “an alternate film reality—a transcendent one,” in which, “The filmmaker, rather than creating a world in which the viewer need only surrender … creates a world in which the spectator must contemplate—or reject out of hand.”. While the pastor urges that there are still plenty of reasons for hope, it seems he may have been influenced by Michael’s words as much as the other way around. Fibonacci Films, Rated R Read our First Reformed review from the Toronto International Film Festival to find out if Paul Schrader's religious drama is worth seeking out. In recent times, and especially since “First Reformed” debuted at the Toronto Film Festival last fall, the writer/director has spoken about his work in numerous interviews and discussions, and his comments—which I encourage interested readers to seek out—are invariably as stimulating and insightful as they are candid. Yet while it has its issues, First Reform is an incredibly provocative and challenging film. All (8) tracks on here are great. Noticeable effort for each frame to tell its own story. In a sense “First Reformed” recapitulates Mr. Schrader’s career, but this new, insistently slow and conspicuously brave film—no one can accuse … Despair, hope, faith, isolation, and social decay are all explored to their fullest depths in a manner that is perfect for audiences in 2018. Please reference “Error Code 2121” when contacting customer service. No doubt. When … FIRST REFORMED-- 4 STARS Celebrated writer-director Paul Schrader ( Taxi Driver, American Gigolo ) has long been a veteran storyteller on the motif of self-destruction. 原題の「First Reformed」はこの小さな教会の名前で、元々はオランダ人の手によって建てられ、間もなく250年の記念式典が予定されていること、トラーはかつて従軍牧師をやっていて、一人息子をイラク戦争に行かせて戦死させたこと From the first, style as a way of engendering spiritual consciousness has been his primary concern. It is no exaggeration to say that he has given Schrader a suffering priest equal to those of Bresson and Bergman. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. He's as passionate as ever; what he has lost is his discipline. You’ve probably never heard of him but he’s the guy who wrote Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Affliction.A longtime Martin Scorsese and Nicolas Cage collaborator, Schrader has had a full film career of many shades slowing down at the turn of the millennium. | Rating: 4/5 The writer of Scorsese classics such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull as well as being the director of American Gigolo and Auto Focus, Schrader has made a career out of analyzing the psyches of tortured male souls and their having to grapple with the varied struggles and conflicts their environment and/or time in history dictated them to deal with. First Reformed. Block or Report. | Rotten (16). Written by Matt Hendricks Ethan Hawke in First Reformed Paul Schrader has been working towards a comeback for a while, now. A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy Read our full First Reformed review from TIFF below. All the performances, from large to small, are believably first-rate. First Reformed depicts a religious culture, like the biosphere, in crisis, perhaps sickness unto death. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. December 26, 2018 Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried star in the dark character drama First Reformed. Schrader continued, “Church people had been using movies since they first moved to illustrate religious beliefs, but this was something different. Brought to life by delicate work from writer-director Paul Schrader and elevated by a standout performance by Ethan Hawke, First Reformed takes a sensitive and suspenseful look at weighty themes. Cinemark drama, Killer Films, |, December 10, 2020 First Reformed - Movie review by film critic Tim Brayton ... Part of the story First Reformed tells is of the feeling that things are so obviously so bad that it's impossible to ignore or escape or even find respite, and it makes sense for such a film to have a completely suffocating aesthetic and overall tone. Omeira Studio Partners, Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the Oscar Winners, The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2019 Oscar Nominations. First Reformed is his paean to slow cinema, a steadily simmering, unostentatious apogee collating the obsessions that have driven the filmmaker for 50 years. [Full review in Spanish]. With Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer, Victoria Hill. This 10-digit number is your confirmation number. Often embodied by a protagonist pursuing actions opposite his or her own values, Schrader’s pensive paths tend to end with purifying violence or excruciating sacrifice. Brought up in the Christian Reformed Church, a strict Calvinist denomination, Schrader was raised without movies but became enchanted with their forbidden pleasures when he encountered them. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. And it was a bridge of STYLE not content.”, That last point is crucial. Sign up here. His favorite film in this regard is Diary of a Country Priest. First Reformed is poised to celebrate its 250th birthday. Forgot your password? Revelation (4 out of 4 stars) 2. First Reformed review: "A volatile mix of gravitas and grindhouse" Paul Schrader’s best for 20 years. | Rating: B FIRST REFORMED follows a troubled priest named Father Toller (Ethan Hawke) as he tries to help young couple Mary (Amanda Seyfried) and Michael (Philip Ettinger) and is drawn into a tragic series of events. They are weird moments of almost hypnotic transcendence, but at the center of it is that tortured God's lonely man character perfectly embodied by Ethan Hawke. mystery and thriller, | Rating: 4.5/5 Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” in which Ethan Hawke brilliantly plays an alcoholic Protestant minister undergoing a profound spiritual and psychological crisis, is a stunning, enrapturing film, a crowning work by one of the American cinema’s most essential artists.. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/A24subscribeFrom Paul Schrader and starring Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, and Cedric Kyles. In his seminal 1972 book Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer (written at age 24, two years before he turned from film criticism to filmmaking), Schrader noted that, “The many statements [Robert] Bresson has made in interviews and discussions, properly arranged, would constitute an accurate analysis of his films (a statement which can be made of no other filmmaker to my knowledge)….” It’s an astute remark, but one which Schrader perhaps now should amend to include himself. Toller is a man who sees himself as something of a courier for Christ despite constantly questioning his worthiness of such a status. First Reformed is a near perfect offering from cinematic master Paul Schrader, and another notch on the belt for the impressive studio A24. The pastor of a small church in upstate New York spirals out of control after a soul-shaking encounter with an unstable environmental activist and his pregnant wife. We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your account. movie review May 15, 2018 Paul Schrader’s First Reformed Is an Austere Examination of Faith and Morality Spiritual Elements. There are several themes and ideas coming together here, but for me what stands out is the big bitch slap for Christian conservatives in the US backing the wrong orange faced horses these days. The pacing could have been tighter, but the slow-burn vibe, the darkening tone, Hawke's mesmerizing deterioration, and the shocking finale are quite absorbing. The percentage of Approved Tomatometer Critics who have given this movie a positive review. In a long, striking scene early in the film, one that reminds us of Schrader’s skills as a writer, the young man and Toller discuss the ways humanity is rapidly despoiling the earth and the planet’s bleak future prospects. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! They won't be able to see your review if you only submit your rating. But Hawke juices it with an austere sense of grace. | Rating: 3/5 Your AMC Ticket Confirmation# can be found in your order confirmation email. First Reformed is a 2018 thriller about a priest of a small congregation in upstate New York who grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past. The world’s misery begins to intrude on his own when a pregnant young woman named Mary (Amanda Seyfried) enlists Toller to counsel her husband, who she believes wants her to have an abortion out of despair over the world’s future. Disturbing images in intense, mature character study. First Reformed review: "A volatile mix of gravitas and grindhouse" Paul Schrader’s best for 20 years. It is bleak because it has to be and raises a lot of issues that we have neglected regarding the environment and now we may be finding that time to make a difference in this escalating problem is running out. Later, in discovering Bresson’s “Pickpocket,” he was electrified because “I sensed a bridge between the spirituality I was raised with and the ‘profane’ cinema I loved. Jonathan Rosenbaum’s review published on Letterboxd: It’s nuts, but also arguably Schrader's only masterpiece. The climactic scene takes place during the church’s much-ballyhooed re-consecration service, commemorating 350 years of preaching, teaching and serving. All Critics (239) Obviously, First Reformed is saturated in spiritual content, from its title, to its setting, to its characters. First Reformed was filmed over the course of 20 days around Brooklyn and Queens, New York, including the building and grounds of the Zion Episcopal Church in Douglaston, Queens. First Reformed is a bleak, punishing movie and the furthest thing imaginable from an easy crowdpleaser. |, July 1, 2020 First Reformed answers exactly zero of these questions, but it has the guts to raise them and to puncture, bruise, and bloodlet in search of the answers. |, August 27, 2018 Full Review Perhaps because of his own past trauma and growing alcoholism, Toller … But Hawke juices it with an austere sense of grace. Coming Soon. | Rating: 3.5/4 Whether one knows they know his work or not, most who pay attention in some capacity to the film world are usually influenced by or at least familiar with the work of writer/director Paul Schrader. Coming Soon, Regal The congregation that faces him from the church’s spartan pews is minuscule. First Reformed's three outstanding central performances (Hawke, Seyfried, Kyles) are complimented by three incisive and crucial supporting turns... Full Review Mike Massie Gone With The Twins Track Listing: 1. It also has some harsh things to say about the prosperity Gospel-based evangelicalism of … In line with other Schrader movies, but perhaps more so than any, it defines itself against many of the central assumptions and conventions of most mainstream moviemaking. Being the sometimes cocky, but mostly guilt-ridden Catholic that I am I wrongfully assumed that First Reformed was about a Catholic priest coming to terms with the quarrels his mind could no longer ignore and facing this crisis of faith with what the movie could only determine to surprise us with, but in fact First Reformed does not care to follow such a repeated quandary, but is instead the tale of a man who was beaten down by life long before he decided to make the church his one and only true love as Ethan Hawke portrays Reverend Toller, a man who found something of a lucky break in being appointed the priest for a small congregation in upstate New York whose building is now more of a tourist attraction than a place of worship. Your Ticket Confirmation # is located under the header in your email that reads "Your Ticket Reservation Details". | Rating: 6/10 The soundtrack to "First Reformed" is great. Ethan Hawke interviewed by Simon Mayo — Kermode and Mayo's Film Review, with Ethan Hawke This clip is related to First Reformed Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist reviewed by Mark Kermode |, August 29, 2020 You won't see a more textured film this summer. This situation grows more dire when Mary tells Toller she’s discovered a suicide vest that Michael has constructed. First Reformed, the movie, shares Michael’s environmental concerns (if not his despair). Ernst Toller (Hawke) is a troubled man. The organ is fixed; the reconsecration is scheduled. While he grapples with this, Toller faces challenges on other fronts too. Many shots linger in a style not often found outside of horror films, in the scenes they intend to deliver the audience a scare that its characters do not see. And then there’s the solid anchor provided by Hawke’s performance as Toller. Hawke gives a really good performance and does an excellent job at showing the spiritual struggle that the character goes through. |. It is, as Toller says, both exhilarating and exhausting. Pissing blood makes him suspect he has a serious illness. That effort begins to stick in Toller’s craw, though, when he realizes the extent to which it will be run by a bullying local rightwing polluter for whom he feels the deepest contempt. Copyright © Fandango. I don’t think her name (or her pregnancy) is an accident. A work that most 30 year old's would welcome, and one that a 71 year old might have thought would never come around again. First, style as a way of engendering spiritual consciousness has been his primary concern and we email... Tracks slowly forward as it gazes up at the stark white facade of an 18th century church in upstate York... With precision and intent 350 years of preaching, teaching and serving all (... Films throughout his career but this was something different `` First Reformed is a film from Paul requires. 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