Brendan Gleeson plays a gloriously flawed but good catholic priest Father James in a small community near to Sligo. Early in the film whilst in the confessional hearing confessions - in England these days one is encouraged to confess, or using the modern language to reconcile, face to face with one's confessor rather than more anonymously using a traditional closed confessional box- but I digress - an anonymous person enters the confession box. Father James fails to persuade him to confess. Instead the person reveals an history of abuse by a dreadful but since deceased priest. Then there is a warning given to Father James by the victim who has decided to take revenge by killing him an innocent priest in 7 days time.
Initially I expected the film to be about historic child abuse in Ireland which to me is tragic but not interesting let alone attractive for a film plot so my interest waned for a short while. However the plot turned then to focus on the current every day life and work of Father James. His visit to an hugely wealthy greedy probably dishonest Irish banker; a convict in Kilmainham jail who would not reveal the place he had buried his most recent murder victim and we learned that Father James had been married but that his wife had died leaving him with a beautiful daughter who worked in London. The daughter visited and revealed that she had failed in a suicide attempt.Meanwhile Father James was called to a local hospital where a French woman's husband and children had been killed in a motor accident which left her alone physically unscathed. Like many of of the characters in the film the surgeon at the hospital seemed arrogant and at best agnostic.
One of the human failings of Father James involved alcoholic drink and on one occasion he had had too much in a local pub where a fracas resulted. His flaws as a man are familiar to us all.
An interesting feature about the film however was the way in which by the end of the week a positive impact on the characters of the men and women who had passed through the life of Fr James became apparent.
Giving more more details here would reveal too much of the plot but suffice it to say that after the first few minutes the stories and acting were riveting through to the end - well worth viewing.