• Drama


The great achievement of The Boys of St. Vincent is not that it deals with the controversial subject of pedophilia among Catholic clergy, but that it deals with that subject so honestly, without resorting to melodramatics. At the core of this powerful film lies Henry Czerny's searing performance as Brother Peter Lavin. Czerny deftly shows in the film's first half how Lavin used the double-edged sword of adult and religious authority to intimidate his charges. And in the second half, when Lavin is confronted with the monstrousness of his crimes, Czerny's ability to construct a plausible set of denials (if you had seen only this part of the film, you might be tempted to believe him) lifts the film above a simple case study. Lavin's character, a man who translated his own troubled childhood into pain and affliction for others, is one of the most fascinating psychological studies in contemporary film. Co-writer and director John N. Smith is also to be praised for tamping down the urge to embroider this story with unnecessary flourishes. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovi

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