Monday, June 11, 2018

First Reformed, A Review

It has become my habit to take myself out on weekends to dinner and a movie. And lately, I've seen some powerful ones - like Tully and The Rider. But I have the feeling the movie I saw last weekend, First Reformed, is going to stick with me for a long time to come, and I highly recommend it even if I sometimes found it difficult to watch.

First Reformed, is a story about the minister of a small church in upstate New York. Reverend Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a former military chaplain who encouraged his son to join the military and is racked with grief and guilt after the boy dies in Iraq.

The movie begins when a young pregnant woman (Amanda Seyfried) asks the reverend to counsel her husband (Phillip Ettinger) who is an extreme environmentalist who believes it is immoral to bring a child into the world as it exists today and asks Reverend Toller (who has lost a child) if God can forgive us for what we have done to his creation.

The young woman, Mary, fears that her husband is becoming radicalized and violent and then uncovers the evidence to back up that belief. What she discovers in her garage will change not just her life but the lives of her husband and the minister.

This movie begins with a quote from the American monk and mystic, Thomas Merton, who tells us that "it is possible to hold both hope and despair in our minds simultaneously" and doesn't end until it shows us exactly how that is done.

Other members of the cast include Victoria Hill and Cedric(the Entertainer) Kyles.


My memoir, Dear Elvis, is available at amzn.to/2uPSFtE