First Reformed

Synopsis: A priest of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Paul Schrader
Production: A24
  1 win & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
113 min


I have decided

to keep a journal.

Not in a word program

or digital file,

but in longhand,

writing every word out

so that every inflection

of penmanship,

every word chosen,

scratched out, revised,

is recorded.

To set down all my thoughts

and the simple events

of my day factually

and without hiding anything.

When writing about oneself,

one should show no mercy.

I will keep this diary

for one year, 12 months.

And at the end of that time,

it will be destroyed.

Shredded, then burnt.

The experiment will be over.


Please rise.

What is thy only comfort

in life and death?

That I

with body and soul,

both in life and death,

am not my own,

but belong unto my faithful

Savior Jesus Christ,

who with his precious blood...

These thoughts

and recollections

are not so different

from those I confide to God

every morning.

When it is possible.

When he is listening.

Bread of life.

The cup of salvation.


Bread of life.

The cup of salvation.

Bread of life.

The cup of salvation.

This journal

is a form of speaking,

of communication

from one to the other.

A communication

which can be achieved simply

and in repose without

prostration or abnegation.

It is a form of prayer.

Bread of life.

The cup of salvation.

There, uh, is a leak

in the men's restroom.

No, I fixed it.

No. I was just there.

It's still leaking.

Same place.

Under the hot faucet.

What about

the women's room?

The women's is fine.

Uh, do you want me to call

the plumber

from Abundant Life?

No, I'll have

another crack at it.

I hate always bugging them

for extra little costs.

They don't mind.

That's what they're there for.

And you're totally

within your budget.

Still, I don't want to.

Have you posted the sermon?

- Yes. I did it this morning.


Oh, hi...

- Reverend?

Yes, uh... Mary, right?

- Mary Mansana.

- Yeah. Nice to see you again.

I wanted to talk,

if that's okay.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Come on in, Mary.

I'll be right back.

Mary, how can I help you?

Um, I was wondering if

you would talk

- to my husband, Michael.

- Oh, sure. I...

Actually, not now.

He has to...

He has to go to work.

He has to fill in

at Home Depot.

Mary? What is it?

I'm worried about him.

He's involved

in the Green Planet movement.

- It's an activist group.

- Mmm-hmm.

And he was in jail in Canada.

And he just got out

two weeks ago.

He just sits around at home.

He doesn't...

He doesn't go out.

I got him

to fill out a temp form

for Home... For Home Depot.

- Okay.

- Um, so that's good.

Are you sure you don't want

to go to Abundant Life?

They have a whole team

of counselors over there,

who are trained and...

I know,

but he doesn't want to.

He thinks it's more of

a company than a church.

And so, he said

he would talk to you.

Uh, all right. Tomorrow?

- After lunch?

- Great. Great.

I'll just need the, uh...

I just need an address.

And, uh, can you tell me

a little more?

Oh, he applied for

Compassionate Release

when he found out.

He was at Fort Providence.

They let him out early.

Wait, now. Um, found out what?

That I... I was pregnant.

Oh. Hmm. Congratulations.


He... He thinks it's wrong to

bring a child into this world.

He wants to kill our baby.


I assisted Sunday

the youth group

at Abundant Life.

The young people were

so excited, so full of life.

They were open.

They welcomed communion.

Maybe I shouldn't care

about whether people like me.

Did Jesus worry

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Paul Schrader

Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and film critic. Schrader wrote or co-wrote screenplays for four Martin Scorsese films: Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead. more…

All Paul Schrader scripts | Paul Schrader Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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