takes itself just a little bit too seriously for its own good. John McDonagh’s second feature film has a sterling cast, a witty sense of humour and some absolutely breathtaking cinematography; but there’s a sense that it’s trying too hard to say something meaningful and profound. Unlike the biting social satire of
, which was buried skilfully beneath a charming screenplay and lightness of touch,
has difficulty figuring out what it wants to be at any given moment in time.
Is it a scathing examination of rural Irish life? An exploration of guilt and integrity, sin and virtue? A meditation on the role that the church has played and has yet to play in Irish life? A critique of “detachment” as a default mode of being? The movie frequently transitions between hilariously exaggerated philosophical exchanges and attempts at more grounded human interactions, often missing a step…