One of the best films of this past Tribeca film festival is a magnificent exploration of life, faith and forgiveness.
When Chrissie (Laura Linney) returns to Ireland after the death of her mother many people are shocked, they never thought she'd return. Her ex-best friend (Kathy Bates) is bitter and angry, the mother of the love her life (Maggie Smith) doesn't know what to do. Through circumstance the women, all end up on a trip sponsored by their church to Lourdes.
While some of this plays out as you expect, most of this does not. While it does have a warm and fuzzy feel at time the pain all the women feel is very real. Nothing is completely sugar coated, people are bruised, do terrible things and reveal wounds that time may not be able to heal. I am not going to go into details, I'm only going to say that you will be moved.
It's a no duh that a large part of the reason the film works is the cast. Linney, Bates, Smith and Agnes O'Casey as Dolly, a young woman desperate to have her son speak, tear the screen apart with their performances. They are so good that you even forgive Bates being a bitch on wheels for a chunk of the film.
And then there is the script by Joshua D. Maurer, Timothy Prager and Jimmy Smallhorne which is just gangbusters. Warm and wise the script perfectly explores the things we do that drive us apart and how life can reshape us enough that down the road enough that we can come back together. It's a brilliantly written film that will have you pondering faith, belief and forgiveness in ways you hadn't before because it doesn't take the easy road. I also have to cheer the fact that it doesn't give us answers to everything, nor does it reveal all it's magic to everyone. One thing that happens is unexpected because the film chooses to have it happen not in a big mushy scene but a small private moment almost as a throw away.
This is a glorious filmmaking. It's so good that I shocked the PR people by asking if there would be an Oscar push for the film, particularly for the ladies at the center of the tale. She didn't know. Frankly if they are smart they will.
This is an absolute must see.