Bleakness pervades Pablo Larraín’s The Club, a pessimistic drama about a house of priests ostracized for sexual immorality. Living in a Chilean beach town, the group is unremarkable, enjoying the sand, the sunshine, and dog races. But when a new priest is dropped off—with a victim in tow—the equilibrium is broken. The Club does what Spotlight was unable to: Without tasteful tiptoeing, it explicitly details, usually verbally but sometimes visually, the crimes and consequences of molestation. The Club shows the dangerous neuroticism that dogma can engender. DP Sergio Armstrong creates a washed out, bluish, almost opaque look for the film, which is edited with few cuts and plenty of zoom-in and zoom-out shots. Carlos Cabezas’s score swells and groans, underscoring the misery.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White