The logline for the new movie “First Reformed” goes something like this. “A man about to have a baby is extremely concerned about the environment and global warming, worried that in the year 2050, when his child is 33 years old the planet Earth may no longer be a viable place to live”. The man consults a priest, who himself is having major problems including his health. From this point the quality of this movie is overall very well done, receiving a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The acting of the 3 main actors, Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried and of all people Cedric the Entertainer in the first serious role I have ever seen him in – are all outstanding in their roles. The problems with this movie – like many movies that are made today is that in some instances, it is trying too hard to be different and because of this, some parts of the movie just do not make sense. This includes one scene that actually involves levitation – coming out of nowhere. This movie also has one of those endings that will confuse and infuriate many viewers, for me it was just OK, although part of the ending did not make sense. Somewhere along the line, people have to react and behave in ways that make sense to a normal person. In many cases when it comes to a good solid story idea, less is more.
This movie is very low budget and was made for only 2.5 million dollars and shot in 20 days. Its also rather dark and depressing when you consider the possible end of the world scenario’s discussed. Despite the 95% recommendation on Rotten Tomatoes I give First Reformed only a mild recommendation.