Best Movies by Farr
Diary of a Country Priest Poster
Released Runtime Category
1954 115 Drama, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Robert Bresson French
Claude Laydu, Jean Riveyre, Adrien Borel

Diary of a Country Priest

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What's it About

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.

Why we love it

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.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"