“Sometimes a film wears its anguish like fingerprints on a mirror. In Paul Schrader’s FIRST REFORMED [lensed by ALEXANDER DYNAN] Ethan Hawke gives one of the year’s finest performances as a rural pastor who has lost his way, further hastening his own end with drink. A young woman from his congregation— played by a soulful Amanda Seyfried— reaches out when she fears that her husband, a radical environmental activist, may be planning a suicide mission. Politics, religion, the global-warming crisis—all the things we’re either constantly talking about at our dinner tables or are afraid to talk about—come into play under Schrader’s watchful eye. This is one of the most thoughtful, intense and ultimately fortifying films of the year.”
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