First Reformed

Wow. Schrader is still playing around with ideas and ideals of masculinity and what the notion of man as protector can devolve into. And it’s a fascinating exploration. So many parallels to Travis Bickel, but I find Toller much more sympathetic. I loved the fantastic elements of the film (and I read the ending that way too, rather than literally.) This film was surprising and deep and wonderfully challenging and thought-provoking. Ethan Hawke is such a treasure too—I loved the performance within the performance he gave us of a man full of internal struggle and turmoil doing his best not to let it show to his boss or Mary or the kids visiting the Church.