So I was at a couple of press shows of films this week. The Double, on Monday, is not very good, quite ordinary in fact. Certainly not as good as it thinks it is. But, then again, Richard Ayoade's previous film, his debut, Submarine, although it has a few nice touches, wasn't that great either. On the evidence of two films, he seems to specialise in deeply annoying central characters. Either you have sympathy for them, or you don't. Or maybe they just wear out your sympathy.
Happily, Calvary, on Tuesday, more than made up for yesterday's disappointment. At the risk of critical hyperbole, I have to say I think it's almost perfect. Probably the best Irish film since Adam and Paul. 'Irish and so black', as Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens had it, in a different context. Following the enjoyable romp that was his debut The Guard, this episodic, immersive study of faith and existential doubt (as well as being a casual who-is-going-to-do-it), marks director John Michael McDonagh out as not merely one to watch, but someone who could be destined for greatness. Brendan Gleeson is great too, as are all the other familiar actorly faces. Most importantly, it doesn't sentimentally bottle it, but follows through.
I always get so cheered up when I see a great film after a medicare or bad one.