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John Michael McDonagh, 2014

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As with his brother Martin’s In Bruges, John Michael McDonagh’s study of an Irish village priest and his wayward flock is a darkly comic affair featuring a roll-call of peculiarly troubled characters. Which of the villagers has threatened, behind the anonymity of confession, to kill Father James? Why? There are several suspects. But behind the quirkiness and the bathos, McDonagh has produced an absorbing, serious meditation on the nature of sin, with Brendan Gleeson’s brilliantly bruised, bleary, world-weary Father James at its heart.

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