Boxed | Chicago Reader


A young priest in Northern Ireland (Tom Jordan Murphy) is kidnapped by an IRA cell whose masked members want him to hear the last confession of an informer before they execute him. Believing that Christ has been preparing him for this moment all his life, the priest locks himself in a room with the condemned man, tries to convince the terrorists to spare him, and compounds their predicament by recognizing one of them as a parishioner. Marion Comer, who wrote and directed this gripping 2002 British feature, seems to have taken her inspiration from Graham Greene's metaphysical hostage drama The Honorary Consul, but hers is a far leaner affair: where Greene ruminates and ponders, Comer succinctly covers the moral and spiritual dimensions of the situation with crisp dialogue. Murphy is superb as the troubled young priest; also impressive are Catherine Cusack as his guilt-stricken parishioner and Jim Norton as his crusty pastor, whose faith has long since been corrupted by the realpolitik of Northern Ireland. 78 min.


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