Wise Blood

three and a half stars out of five This very dark tale amply illustrates the meaning of the Jesuits’ tenet of ‘give us the child & we’ll show you the man’, as the adult Hazel Motes continually flashes back to his fire & brimstone preacher grandfather’s teachings of hellfire & damnation. The extent to which Motes (Dourif is gut-wrenchingly excellent in his torment) initially tries to fight against his upbringing only makes his final return to evangelism and monastic self-flagellation all the more disturbing. Beautifully filmed (honourable mention to the stunning opening credits) and acted, it’s by no means a jolly evening’s viewing, but your attention and patience will be rewarded – even if only in the next life. It’s a lot of Jesus but absolutely no sunbeams.

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