The performances want to follow a righteous path, while the story sins.
Why would a film critic like me review movies of low standards like “The King’s Daughter” and “Confession” last week? Two reasons. 1.) It’s my job as the film critic to review good and bad movies. 2.) There wasn’t nothing really major out that weekend, other than “Scream” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” both of which were more entertaining. But I don’t want anyone to think I’m just concerned with commercial flicks, but I also advise you to see artisan features. The best independent films to come out or expand last weekend were “Parallel Mothers” and “Salt In My Soul,” both of which know about character studies and complex narratives.
“Confession” is the movie of this article, and while it’s better than “The King’s Daughter” in terms of its acting (with Stephen Moyer and Colm Meaney as the leads), it’s too boring and convoluted for me to get involved with, and it’s only 80 minutes long. There are times when you want to get involved, and times when you want to look away.
As the movie begins, set in Boston and filmed in the U.K., an injured man named Victor Strong (Stephen Moyer) makes his way into a local church with a gun. He orders the priest Father Peter (Colm Meaney) to lock all the exit doors, while he tends to Victor’s wounds. The old man has him confessing his sins about how his family life went in a downward spiral, and how his wife was murdered and how his daughter is danger.
Then, the two of them are both held at gunpoint by a woman named Willow (Clare-Hope Ashitey), who claims to be a cop trying to arrest Victor for his crimes. Now, Father Peter is conflicted. Who is the real bad guy? Victor or Willow?
Outside the gunpoints, it’s not just Victor who has his sins, but also Peter tries to overcome his troubles. Even religious people have their demons, but not everyone is consumed by evil. They still have their hearts in the right places.
Moyer and Meaney both provide solid performances using American accents, and writer/director David Baton is able to give them their strengths and weaknesses. The acting is the better half of “Confession,” while the other half has to have a story that goes all over the place and lacks the kind of interest it deserves. There could have been something deeper if only it knew the stakes and temptations. It’s more like TV made material.
More recently, “Mass” was about two sets of parents who come together in the same church to talk about how one of their sons murdered the other one. It didn’t have to resort to violence, but rather discussions about how one thing led to another. The tension thickened as the story unfolded, and I was in my seat wondering how it would all pay off.
“Confession” is a movie that wants to allow its main characters to confess their sins, and they do emotionally, but I think a more developed and complex screenplay would have showed them the righteous path.
Now in Select Theaters and Streaming on VOD This Tuesday.