Four men and the woman who tends to their needs live in a secluded house. All former priests, they’ve been sent to this quiet exile to purge the sins of their past. Their stability is disrupted by the arrival of an emissary from the Vatican who seeks to understand the effects of their isolation.
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Larraín's harrowing and confidently-made film is sublime on every level. The writing is as imaginative as it is unpredictable - right up until the poetic conclusion - and the cast give terrific performances. The film is also visually arresting with each shot beautifully, and memorably, composed.
One of the best on MUBI this year. It begins like it's going to be hard work and then just grips and unfolds like a thriller with an incredible allegorical climax (that word). The Aarvo Part fits perfectly, but it's something you just shouldn't do, it's not like I hear it a lot in productions, it's just that its so sacred it's corny.
Joseph Campbell and his disciple would flip their collective shit at a movie like this. It defies labels and classifications, presents us with unredeemable monsters as our main protagonists and still, somehow some way, makes us feel even the slightest sympathy (for the devil?) ... it's one of the most bone-chilling and fucked up movie viewing experiences I've ever had.
Wonderfully creepy, exquisitely shot, brooding, pitch black comedy that marries a welcome return to the Tony Manero era storytelling with a more robust narrative. The performances are sublime and the world of the film has left a lingering impression that is deepening with the passing of time. 4.5 stars
As film art, despite the use of Cinemascope to harvest ravishing (if you'll forgive the term in this context) visuals from its coastal Chilean nowheresville setting, The Club is less interesting and more linear than Larrain's earlier work. But this wrenching, ambivalent corrective to the simplistic moralizing understandably endemic to examinations of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is no small achievement.
Larraín and his team only falter on the unabashed misanthropy and its constant excesses to make an argument all too familiar for Chilean standards, but his storytelling remains gripping and sharp within its own limitations, which makes one conclude that Larrain's understanding of narrative devices is getting better, however banal or belligerent they might be at the moment.