Calvary

Synopsis: An honest and good-hearted priest (Brendan Gleeson) wrestles with a cynical, spiteful community after he receives a death threat from an unknown parishioner.
Genre: Drama
Production: Fox Searchlight
  9 wins & 27 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.4
Metacritic:
77
Rotten Tomatoes:
90%
R
Year:
2014
102 min
$5,030,432
Website
2,930 Views


INT. CONFESSIONAL - DAY 1

FATHER JAMES LAVELLE, fifties, is idly reading Moby Dick.

Dressed in an old-fashioned black soutane. He hears

someone enter the confessional. Marks his page. Waits -

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

I first tasted semen when I was

seven years old.

HOLD CLOSE on LAVELLE.

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

Nothing to say?

LAVELLE:

It’s certainly a startling opening

line.

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

What is that, irony?

LAVELLE:

I’m sorry, let’s start again.

Are you...What do you...What do

you want to say to me? I’m here to

listen to whatever you have to say.

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

I was raped by a priest when I was

seven years old. Orally and anally,

as they say in the court reports.

This went on for five years.

Every other day for five years.

I bled a lot, as you can imagine.

I bled a terrible amount.

LAVELLE:

(after a pause)

Have you spoken to anyone about-

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

I’m speaking to you now.

LAVELLE:

I mean, have you sought professional

help?

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

Why, so I could learn how to cope?

So I could learn how to live with it?

Maybe I don’t want to cope. Maybe I

don’t want to learn how to live with it.

LAVELLE:

Why don’t you make a formal complaint?

You can testify-

(CONTINUED)

2.

1 CONTINUED:
1

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

The man’s dead.

There is silence for a moment.

LAVELLE:

I don’t know what to say to you.

I have no answer for you, I’m sorry.

MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)

What good would it do anyway, if he

were still alive? What’d be the point

in killing the bastard? That’d be no

news. There’s no point in killing a

bad priest. But killing a good one?

That’d be a shock, now. They wouldn’t

know what to make of that.

(pause)

I’m going to kill you, Father.

I’m going to kill you ‘cause you’ve

done nothing wrong. I’m going to kill

you ‘cause you’re innocent.

(pause)

Not right now, though. I’ll give you

enough time to put your house in order.

Make your peace with God. Sunday week,

let’s say. I’ll meet you down on the

beach there. Down by the water there.

(with a laugh)

Killing a priest on a Sunday.

That’ll be a good one.

(pause)

Do you not have anything to say to

me, Father?

*

LAVELLE:

Not right now, no. But I’m sure I’ll

think of something. By Sunday week.

There is a pause. Then the MAN laughs. The confessional

door is heard opening and closing. LAVELLE waits.

2

INT. CHURCH - DAY 2

LAVELLE emerges from the confessional. Looks around -The

church is empty. He stands alone.

3

INT. OPENING TITLES - PHOTOGRAPHS - DAY 3

Sepia, b/w, colour photographs, from the ‘20s to the ‘90s,

of children with priests.

4

INT. OPENING TITLES - CHURCH - DAY 4

LAVELLE and his altar boy, MICHE.L O’SULLIVAN, serving

Communion to his PARISHIONERS.

(CONTINUED)

3.

4 CONTINUED:
4

Some of whom -- MILO HERLIHY, GERALD RYAN, SIMON ASAMOAH,

JACK BRENNAN and VERONICA BRENNAN -- we will encounter in

due course.

LAVELLE:

Body of Christ.

Amen.

VERONICA:

She receives the Eucharist. She is wearing shades to cover

a black eye. LAVELLE moves on to the next PARISHIONER.

5

EXT. OPENING TITLES - EASKEY, CO. SLIGO - DAY 5

The town’s main street. Houses brightly-painted as in a

Jacques Demy film. A GRUMPY BASTARD zips by in a

wheelchair.

*

*

A young priest dressed in a black clerical suit -- FATHER

TIMOTHY LEARY -- exits the village store with the Sunday

newspapers.

*

6

EXT. OPENING TITLES - O’DOWD CASTLE - DAY 6

TOURISTS exploring the picturesque castle, a thirteenth-

century structure overlooking the shoreline.

7

EXT. OPENING TITLES - EASKEY BEACH - DAY 7

One of the finest surfing destinations in the world,

renowned for its two reef breaks.

SURFERS riding a massive wave that eventually comes

crashing down.

8

EXT. OPENING TITLES - CHURCH - DAY 8

A large wooden church on a hill. The PARISHIONERS exit.

OPENING TITLES end.

9

INT. SACRISTY - DAY 9

TITLE -- “Sunday”.

LAVELLE and MICHE.L enter. MICHE.L slouching.

LAVELLE:

A little too much wine in the

chalice again, there, Miche.l.

MICHE.L

Sorry, Father.

LAVELLE:

(taking off his chasuble)

I’m wondering is this some kind of

ploy on your behalf.

(CONTINUED)

4.

CONTINUED:

99

MICHE.L

A ploy, Father?

LAVELLE:

(untying his cincture)

A ploy, Miche.l. I’ve noticed my

stocks of booze appear to be

somewhat diminished of late.

I’m wondering is this some kind of

ploy you’re working to cover up

for the wine you’ve been imbibing

on the q.t.

MICHE.L

I have no idea what you are talking

about.

LAVELLE removes his stole. Studying MICHE.L all the while.

MICHE.L

Father Leary noticed nothing amiss. *

LAVELLE:

Father Leary does not know you as

well as I do, Miche.l. I’d say he

may well underestimate the depths

of your Machiavellian chicanery.

*

MICHE.L

Can I go now, Father?

*

LAVELLE:

What’s the hurry? Have they called

a meeting at Mafia Headquarters?

They look blankly at one another.

On your way.

LAVELLE:

10

INT. RECTORY (KITCHEN) - DAY 10

FATHER LEARY is pouring the tea. LAVELLE reading the

Sunday newspapers.

*

LEARY:

The things you hear in confession

these days, it’s depressing.

*

*

LAVELLE:

You have to detach yourself from

it. We’re here to provide solace.

Your personal feelings don’t come

into it.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED:

5.

10

LEARY:

I know that. What d’you take me

for? It’s very difficult, though.

The mess people make of their lives.

*

LAVELLE:

What’s the problem? Without going

into details, obviously.

LEARY:

Your one with the big black eye on

her, have you seen her?

*

LAVELLE:

Veronica Brennan. I have, yeah.

LEARY:

She’s an odd one. The things she

comes out with. It’s like she’s

trying to drag you down into the

muck. D’you know what felching is?

*

LAVELLE:

I do know what felching is, yeah.

LEARY:

I had to look it up.

*

LAVELLE:

This is you not going into details

is it?

LEARY:

Oh sorry. Anyway, whatever’s going

on with her it’s obviously all gotten

out of hand and she’s being knocked

around now.

*

LAVELLE:

Well if you speak to her she’ll raise

holy hell and say it was on the basis

of something she said to you in the

confessional.

LEARY:

I know, I know. We can’t have that.

She’ll get me excommunicated, the cow.

*

LAVELLE:

I’ll have a word with her. Jack as

well. Part of my pastoral duties and

what-have-you, nothing to do with her

confession or anything. See what’s

going on.

LEARY:

And that coloured fella, the Ugandan?

He’s one of her lovers, I think.

*

(CONTINUED)

6.

CONTINUED:

10 10

LAVELLE:

Simon’s from the Ivory Coast.

LEARY:

Right, right. I knew it was that,

or Guyana. One of those African

countries.

*

LAVELLE:

Guyana is in South America.

LEARY:

I don’t think so, now, Father.

I was always pretty good at the

auld geography.

*

LAVELLE glances at him. Sips his tea.

11

EXT. BEACH - DAY 11

CLOSE on the skirts of LAVELLE’s black soutane as he walks

across the sandy beach. He pauses at the water’s edge and

looks out.

*

*

7.

EXT. SAND DUNES - DAY 12

*

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John Michael McDonagh

John Michael McDonagh is an English/Irish screenwriter and film director. He wrote and directed The Guard and Calvary, both films starring Brendan Gleeson. He was born in London in 1967. more…

All John Michael McDonagh scripts | John Michael McDonagh Scripts

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