Arriving in the small community of Ambricourt, a novice parish priest (Laydu) has trouble connecting to the people he is meant to serve, especially after a local Count (Riveyre) warns him to wield his moral authority lightly. Devout but awkward, the young priest is further hampered by ill health, which forces him to adopt an austere diet of bread and wine. Isolated and unsure of his ultimate purpose, the ailing curate eventually experiences a crushing crisis of faith.
Bresson's exquisite, quietly affecting study of a young priest's spiritual travails remains one of the great achievements of world cinema. Adapted from the novel by George Bernanos, "Priest" is decidedly minimalist in style, with Laydu's supremely restrained performance eliciting our empathy and subtly attuning us to his character's inner struggles. Bresson handles the details brilliantly, his unadorned elegance and intensity permeating the mood, set design, and action. "Priest" is a sublime film that will reward attentive viewers with a profound meditation on life, faith, and purpose.