Hot Take: First Reformed is a dying breed of film. It’s one that provides more questions than answers. It also lacks the broad appeal (read: superheroes) of what usually lands in cinemas but definitely worth the 2 hour commitment.
Writer/director Paul Schrader has an impressive resume. Dating back to 1974, Schrader’s screenwriting highlights include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Mosquito Coast and The Last Temptation of Christ and was the writer and director of American Gigolo and Affliction amongst others. All told, Schrader has a writer and/or director credit on 31 films. While most of his best works have been tied to director Martin Scorsese, Schrader is no slouch on his own. This combined with the fact that A24, the most consistent studio in Hollywood, is the distributor of Schrader’s latest, First Reformed, was a good sign of things to come. In fairness, First Reformed isn’t for everyone. Even with Schrader as the creative talent behind the film and a cast featuring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, a film about a reverend questioning his faith as he silently battles symptoms of an unknown illness has almost not shot at big box office success. Then again, when you make a movie as heavy as this, it’s unlikely the motive behind it is to blow up the box office. Read More →