Phil on Film Index

Friday, October 25, 2019

By the Grace of God

François Ozon’s career has zig-zagged in so many different directions it’s impossible to anticipate what kind of movie we’re going to get each time this prolific director returns with a new offering. His previous film, Double Lover, was wild, sexy and ludicrous, so it makes sense that he’d follow it with something more sedate, but you might be surprised at just how dry and sober By the Grace of God is.

It’s a film which explores the subject of sexual abuse in the Catholic church, detailing the very recent exposure of Father Bernard Preynat (Bernard Verley), who used his position as a scout master in the 1980s and ’90s to prey on dozens of boys. One such victim is Alexandre (Melvil Poupaud), a still-devout Catholic whose repeated pleas for justice made to Preynat’s superior Cardinal Barbarin (François Marthouret) are the focus of the film’s opening half-hour.

Read the rest of my review at Little White Lies