Starring: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Philip Ettinger, Cedric Kyles, Michael Gaston, Victoria Hill
Thriller drama directed and written by Paul Schrader in which the story follows solitary, middle-aged parish pastor, Reverend Toller (Ethan Hawke), at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York, who is tortured by the death of his son he encouraged to enlist in the armed forces.
When a pregnant parishioner, Mary (Amanda Seyfried), asks Toller to counsel her husband, Michael (Philip Ettinger), a radical environmentalist, Toller finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence.REVIEWS
Toller: [voice over] I have decided to keep a journal to set down all my thoughts and the simple events of my day. I will keep this diary for one year, and at the end of that time it will be destroyed.
Toller: I encouraged my son to enlist, it was a family tradition. Six months later he was dead in Iraq. I was lost.
Pastor Jeffers: So how are you?
Toller: Oh, I’m fine.
Pastor Jeffers: No, really. It’s been a while since we’ve talked, but even a pastor needs someone.
Esther: [to Toller] Did you see the doctor? You need someone to take care of you. I want you to be happy.
Toller: [voice over] I know that nothing can change and I know there is no hope.
[on the phone]
Mary: Reverend Toller.
Toller: Yes, Mary.
Mary: You must come over. You must come over now.
[referring to her husband, Michael]
Mary: He was becoming someone I didn’t
Michael: Opportunistic diseases, anarchy, martial law, you will live to see this.
Toller: So you had no idea what he was thinking?
Mary: No. I’m so frightened.
Pastor Jeffers: These kids, they want certainty. You know, they don’t think, follow. They fall prey to extremism. It’s a world without hope.
Toller: [voice over] No, I have not lost my faith.
Esther: You think what we did together was a sin?
Toller: I’ve seen enough sin to know the real difference.
[to Toller; referring to Michael]
Mary: You didn’t tell the police, right?
Edward Balq: [to Toller] Take a look at your own life before you criticize others.
Pastor Jeffers: These are frightening times. They have to be patient.
Toller: Well somebody has to do something!
Toller: [voice over] My hands shake as I write these lines.
Michael: Can God forgive us for what we’ve done to this world?
Toller: Who can know the mind of God?
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