Signs of the cross by Richard Jones

Calvary A look at Calvary (MA)

BRENDAN Gleeson must be one of the most accomplished actors going around at present. A few years ago he was a hitman sent on an enforced break to Belgium (In Bruges) and then more recently Gleeson played tough Irish policeman, Gerry Boyle (The Guard). In director John Michael McDonagh’s new film he’s Catholic priest Father James, based on the west coast of Ireland.

One day seated in his church’s confession box he hears a chilling threat. A shadowy parishioner, unable to be identified because he’s behind the grille, tells Father James he’s about to be executed. And not just shot or run over by a car. But crucified down on the nearby beach. Next Sunday.

It seems the man in Father James’ confession box was abused as a child and even though the current priest had nothing to do with the crime he’s been booked in as the fall guy. Father James is given a week to get his affairs in order.

So who might the potential killer be? Could it be the hearty local butcher (Chris O’Dowd), the nasty publican (Pat Short), or even the twinkly little doctor (Aidan Gillen)? Surely not the supercilious and stand-offish local squire, who has been disgraced in a banking scandal (Dylan Moran).

The strangely sinister police inspector (Gary Lydon) isn’t much help as Father James tries to nut things out. None of the villagers are very pleasant. They swear at the priest, mock him to his face and taunt him with sexual comments. Father James does have a daughter Fiona (Kelly Reilly) from his previous life. Even though she causes him another form of distress – she’s just back in Ireland after a failed suicide attempt in London – there’s some solace for the priest in her company. McDonagh’s shots of Father James perched on the clifftops above the sea, staring heavenwards, are great.

Will he let out a curse as he used to in his previous life, before joining the priesthood? And even if he does, is there anyone up there to hear it?

Strath forwards boot Storm home over Dragons by Richard Jones

 

STRATHFIELDSAYE forwards Sam Mildren and Stephen Milne booted 12 goals between them as the Storm surged home to down Sandhurst in Saturday’s Bendigo Football League grand final.

StrathstormIn just their sixth year of existence and only their 114th senior game since the start-up season in 2009, the Storm booted 12 goals to four after half-time to claim the Bendigo Advertiser Cup: 20.18 (138) to 12.11 (83). Continue reading

Frankie’s Four Seasons by Richard Jones

A look at Jersey Boys (M)

JerseyMAFIA boss Gyp DeCarlo from the mean streets of New Jersey takes a few neighbourhood boys under his wing and acts as their mentor. It’s the early 1950s and Gyp (Christopher Walken) is well aware that Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) and Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) could spend most of their productive years behind bars.

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Lions leap into the GF Sharks kick themselves out of it

Shane Yarran, the most influential player in the prelim, marks close to goal. Photos by Les Everett

Shane Yarran, the most influential player in the prelim, marks close to goal. Photos by Les Everett

WAFL preliminary final

YOU could almost hear the giggles coming from the East Fremantle coaching box. Surely Sharks coach Steve Malaxos scorewould have seen the funny side of it as his players missed set shots, missed when running into open goals, mucked up attempts to get the ball to a player in the best position and then didn’t even want to have shots for goal. They produced 1.8 in the first quarter, 1.7 in the second, 4.7 in the third and 1.4 in the last on the way to 7.26. It turned out they needed to score 7.32.

It was a gripping preliminary final. Subiaco lost their best player and captain Kyal Horsley and leading goal scorer Matt Boland before the game and the creative George Hampson also wasn’t there. They needed to be brave and creative and they were.

Some of East Fremantle’s football, especially in the third quarter, was exhilarating. Rory O’Brien, Jayden Schofield and Jamie McNamara were running the ball with great effect and, to be fair, the Sharks didn’t have much luck around the goals. A neatly crafted snap shot from 50 by Ryan Lester-Smith hit the base of the post and a running check-side shot from the boundary by Bradd Dalziell was…perfect…but just brushed the post on the way through.

Subi's Rhys Waters gets up high. He didn't take the mark but did plenty of good things.

Subi’s Rhys Waters gets up high. He didn’t take the mark but did plenty of good things.

The Lions were held together by an extraordinary effort from Wayde Twomey, great work by Andrew McDougall, who is probably in the best form of his career. Dashing work by defender Daniel Leishman helped the cause and no one was more important than Shane Yarran. Staying close to goal for the most part, Yarran’s clever positioning enabled him to kick four goals and that was match-winning contribution.

Subiaco will play East Perth in the grand final next Sunday and even some Royals supporters will be barracking for the Lions.

Subiaco 10.13 (73) East Fremantle 7.26 (68)

Meanwhile West Perth’s Aaron Black has won the Sandover Medal. He polled 47 votes to win from Luke Blackwell (Claremont) and Shane Nelson (West Perth) with 46, Kyal Horsley (Subiaco) 45, Bradd Dalziell (East Fremantle) 43 and Craig Wulff (East Perth) 35. If East Perth do win the premiership no one will be able to suggest Wulff isn’t deserving.

Nearly got him. What Sandover Medal winner Aaron Black almost looks like.

Nearly got him. What Sandover Medal winner Aaron Black almost looks like.