13 June 2018

First Reformed

FIRST REFORMED is a drama thriller movie that stars Ethan Hawke as Reverend Ernst Toller. Rev. Toller is depressed. His church membership and attendance are low, he loses his son who served in the armed forces, his health is bad, etc. But it is not completely clear any of these are reasons for his depression. The journal he writes indicates something is not right with him. And after counseling a parishioner's (Mary, played by Amanda Seyfried) activist husband (Philip Ettinger), he slowly unravels.

Pastor Jeffers' (Cedric Kyles) community, Abundant Life Church, partners with Rev. Toller's First Reformed Church. For example, Abundant Life Church hires a technician to fix the organ at First Reformed Church and they organize a service for First Reformed Church together. Pastor Jeffers does not initially realize Rev. Toller is depressed, but eventually discovers his odd behavior.

Rev. Toller is a friend to Mary, and able to be present when she calls on him. In their scenes, Rev. Toller appears stable. Ethan Hawke's performance is flawless and Amanda Seyfried is equally engaging. The Abundant Life Church choir is also very good. However, the movie's ending is ambiguous.

FIRST REFORMED is currently playing in theatres. The official Web site is https://a24films.com/films/first-reformed.

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