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First Reformed

USA, 2017, 113mins, Cert.15

Film description

From the writer behind Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, Paul Schrader's latest film is a richly complex, beautifully acted and stunningly shot existential thriller, featuring a career-best performance from Ethan Hawke.

Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a solitary parish priest at a small church in upstate New York, which is on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. Now more of a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, it has long been eclipsed by its nearby parent church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities.

When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist, Toller is plunged into his own tormented past and finds himself questioning his own future and where redemption might lie. With the pressure on him beginning to grow, he must do everything he can to stop events spiralling out of control.

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