Robert BressonFrance110 minutes1950B&WFrench
A young priest dying of cancer confronts the cruelty, indifference and malice of his parishioners while trying to make his own peace with God, in Robert Bresson’s austerely beautiful spiritual drama.
"Masterly ... a film of great purity and, at the end, of Bach-like intensity" (Pauline Kael). François Truffaut called Diary of a Country Priest "Bresson's best film," arguing that "every shot is as true as a handful of earth." Long considered a summit of world cinema, Bresson's adaptation of George Bernanos' renowned novel about a young priest whose attempts to assuage the suffering of the people in his village are met with malice and indifference, established the austere style for which Bresson subsequently became famous. Claude Laydu, his downcast visage among the gallery of indelible faces in Bresson's cinema, brings a wounding soulfulness to his role as the ill-fated priest who finally finds release from the world. "Still the screen's most devastating account of the arduous ascent to sainthood, it achieves a lacerating honesty" (Tom Milne).