'First Reformed,' 'Beast' coming to the Ross
Two dramas — one about a troubled pastor, the other about a young woman who falls in love with a mysterious outsider — open July 6 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.
In "First Reformed," screening at the Ross through July 19, Ethan Hawke plays the Rev. Ernst Toller, a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church is now a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, eclipsed by its nearby parent church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000-strong flock.
When a pregnant parishioner (played by Amanda Seyfried) asks Toller to counsel her husband, a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past, and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of violence. From writer-director Paul Schrader ("Taxi Driver," "American Gigolo," "Affliction") comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political and planetary.
"First Reformed" is rated R for some disturbing violent images.
In "Beast," at the Ross through July 12, Moll (Jessie Buckley) is 27 and still living at home, stifled by the small island community around her and too beholden to her family to break away. When she meets Pascal (Johnny Flynn), a free-spirited stranger, a new world opens up and she begins to feel alive for the first time, falling madly in love.
Finally breaking free from her family, Moll moves in with Pascal to start a new life. But when he is arrested as the key suspect in a series of brutal murders, she is left isolated and afraid. Choosing to stand with him against the suspicions of the community, Moll finds herself forced to make choices that will impact her life forever.
"Beast" is rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some sexuality.
For more information, including show times, click here or call 402-472-5353.