Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Paul Schrader. 2017, 113 mins. With Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric Kyles. From writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo) comes one of the most acclaimed films of the year—a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary. Reverend Ernst Toller (Hawke) is a solitary parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church is now a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, eclipsed by its nearby parent mega-church, Abundant Life. When a pregnant parishioner (Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence.
“First Reformed, a mesmerizingly austere drama of one man’s apocalyptic crisis of faith, feels like the movie Paul Schrader was put on this planet to make.”—Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
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