First Reformed (Afternoon Movie)
A Movie in the Afternoon. Every Day.
Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a solitary, middle-aged 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 church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000-strong flock.
When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda 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.
From writer-director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver; American Gigolo; Affliction) comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political, and planetary.
"It is an exquisite piece of filmmaking and also a blunt, pulpy instrument, a despairing, fully sustained howl of a movie that is easily this director's finest work in years."
"An act of spiritual inquiry, a coolly assured example of cinematic scholarship in subtly deployed motion and one of the strongest pictures of 2018."
""First Reformed" is a miracle in its own regard, the rare type of film that leaves us with questions left to answer and for many, a desire to dig into it deeper through a second viewing."