05 January 2016

Best of 2015: The Club (Pablo Larraín)

The Club (El club). Pablo Larraín. Chile.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlinale, the latest from Pablo Larraín (No, Tony Manero) is a searing portrait of a group of ostracized Catholic priests (and a nun), sequestered by the church to a small coastal town where they keep a low profile. Hoping to usher in a new era of Catholicism after nearly two decades of scandal, the church sends a young priest (Marcelo Alonso) to the town to assess the situation after a brutal confrontation threatens to expose their dirty secret of protecting clergy members suspected of serious wrongdoing.

Phenomenally acted by the entire ensemble cast, most of whom have appeared in several of Larraín’s previous films, The Club cleverly introduces us to a seemingly hapless group of charming misfits dancing along the line of stability in their secluded purgatory, but everything culminates in a brilliant, jarring climax that really illustrates the gravity of what we’ve been witnessing over the course of the film. Submitted as Chile’s official selection for the 2016 Academy Awards, The Club marks another sophisticated and nefarious success for the gifted, young director. The Club will be released by Music Box Films theatrically in the U.S. in February and by Network Releasing in the U.K. in March. Wild Bunch Distribution released El club in theatres in France this past November.

With: Marcelo Alonso, Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farias, Antonia Zegers, Jaime Vadell, Alejandro Goic, Alejandro Sieveking, José Soza, Francisco Reyes, Gonzalo Valenzuela, Diego Muñoz, Catalina Pulido

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