Saturday, February 18, 2012


Movie Review: Pentecost

Director: Peter McDonald

Reviewed: 18 February 2012

jamesintexas rating--*** (4 Stars = Highest Rating)

Peter McDonald's short film (nominated this year for Best Short Film) Pentecost is incredibly brief (eleven minutes) and registers on another level for me because of my experiences as an altar server in my Catholic Church for about six years. The droll, incredibly funny dialogue related to matters of altar serving won me over quickly. A priest speaks to his team of servers before working an important mass with the Arch Bishop; he's a coach in the football locker room, delivering a sermon to his players.

Damian Lynch, a young boy injures a priest in a freak incense accident (and believe me, those things can happen; I once passed out during a service due to too much incense), and as punishment, his dad removes his beloved football pictures from his bedroom walls. In order to redeem himself, Damian is called out of his suspension by the parish to serve one last mass, this time with the Arch Bishop. If he pulls this off, his dad will restore his privileges.

A deeply funny film, touching on serious issues of identity, differences between parents, loyalty and, incredibly, revolution, McDonald delivers a quick punch of a film with incredible control and grace. An insider's look at this world; immediately after watching it, I wanted to show it to my entire family. Ultimately, this film might be seen as too slight by the Academy to take home the award, but it was wonderful. Funnier in eleven minutes than many movies are in ninety.

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