First Reformed

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USA | 2017 | 113 minutes | Paul Schrader

Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried star in legendary writer-director Paul Schrader's gripping new thriller about a small-town chaplain struggling with his faith who is plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence.

"First Reformed consolidates the decades of bubbling guilt and frustration experienced by so many Schrader protagonists into a single enraged priest, played with brilliant layers of guilt and discontent by Ethan Hawke." Eric Kohn - Indie Wire

Writer/director Paul Schrader's (the legendary screenwriter behind Taxi Driver and the director of such films as Blue Collar and Hardcore) First Reformed is a passionate film, infused with conflicted religious fury, about one man's crisis of faith and reckoning with environmental decay. That man is Ernest Toller (Ethan Hawke), a former military chaplain still haunted by his son's death in the Iraq War. He currently leads a dwindling congregation at the First Reformed, a historic abolitionist church in Upstate New York. One of Toller's parishioners Mary (Amanda Seyfried) comes to him for help. Her disturbed husband Michael (Philip Ettinger) is a radical environmental activist who believes the earth can't be saved and wants Mary to abort her baby. As Toller is drawn further and further into Michael's cause, his own beliefs are challenged, and he gradually finds a new sense of purpose. First Reformed combines the poetic austerity of a Robert Bresson film with the explosive intensity and violence of a pulpy genre thriller. Meanwhile, Hawke injects Toller with vivid layers of guilt and discontent, resulting in one of his best performances in years.

Director Biography
American screenwriter, director, and film critic Paul Schrader did not see his first film until the age of 18 due to his strict religious upbringing in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is recognized for his logical and intellectual style of filmmaking that he attributes to no nostalgic memories of film in his childhood. Along with the 23 films that bear his signature as a director, he is best known for his work writing Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980).

Sponsored by Comcast, Dexter Hayes Apartments

  • Director: Paul Schrader
  • Principal Cast: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric Kyles, Michael Gaston, Philip Ettinger, Victoria Hill
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 113 minutes
  • Producer: Jack Binder, Greg Clark, Gary Hamilton, Victoria Hill, David Hinojosa, Frank Murray, Deepak Sikka
  • Screenplay: Paul Schrader
  • Cinematographers: Alexander Dynan
  • Editors: Benjamin Rodriguez Jr.
  • Music: Brian Williams
  • Filmography: Dog Eat Dog (2016); Dying of the Light (2014); The Canyons (2013); Adam Resurrected (2008); The Walker (2007); Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005); Auto Focus (2002); Forever Mine (1999); Affliction (1997); Touch (1997); Light Sleeper (1992); The Comfort of Strangers (1990); Patty Hearst (1988); Light of Day (1987); Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985); Cat People (1982); American Gigolo (1980); Hardcore (1979); Blue Collar (1978)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: A24 Films