First Reformed (review)

First Reformed (review)
First Reformed (review)
User Rating: 0 (0 votes)

This film seems to be a real critics’ darling for its intellectual arguments and Ethan Hawke’s intense performance, but I didn’t enjoy it (call me a superficial hack). First, it’s paced with many pauses, long scenes of somber dialogue and mostly static camera. Second, the blending of religion and environmental discussion left me flat. Hawke is in almost every scene as the pastor of a small Dutch Reform church. He starts out writing a journal and spends much of the film’s narrative reading from it. The inevitable climax was telegraphed pretty early on, but watching its development was only mildly interesting. This is hailed as a return to form for writer/director Paul Schrader and it does take an unusual premise and develop it with intelligence. I just found it tedious and pretentious (and the ending full of flaws in logic).


2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)


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