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By the Grace of God

  • 2018
  • François Ozon
  • 137 mins
  • 15
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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

François Ozon originally planned to make a documentary about the efforts of the Archdiocese of Lyons to stonewall on the abuse allegations made against Father Bernard Preynat. Instead, he has produced a sombre and intense drama that presents the case against Preynat with a blend of indignation and incredulity that is all the more effective for its restraint. While Tom McCarthy's Oscar-winning Spotlight (2015) focused on the Boston Globe's exposé of ecclesiastical wrongdoing, Ozon zeroes in on three members of self-help group La Parole Libérée ("Lift the Burden of Silence") who want the trauma from their childhood abuse by a trusted priest to be acknowledged by the perpetrator and his protector, Cardinal Barbarin. The clerics are ably played by Bernard Verley and François Marthouret, but Ozon's dismay at their evasiveness is as damning as his compassion for the victims is keenly considered. By giving whistleblowing lawyer Alexandre Guérin (Melvil Poupaud), atheist François Debord (Denis Ménochet) and dysfunctional epileptic Emmanuel Thomassin (Swann Arlaud) their own aesthetic registers to establish differing approaches to reaching a resolution, Ozon is able to deliver something all the more affecting and compelling.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Alexandre GuérinMelvil Poupaud
François DebordDenis Ménochet
Emmanuel ThomassinSwann Arlaud
Gilles PerretEric Caravaca
Cardinal BarbarinFrançois Marthouret
Bernard PreynatBernard Verley
IrèneJosiane Balasko
Odile DebordHélène Vincent

Crew

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DirectorFrançois Ozon

Details

Theatrical distributor
Curzon
Released on
2019-10-25
Guidance
Swearing
Formats
Colour
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