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First Reformed Releases First Trailer Starring Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke First Reformed

A24 has released the First Reformed trailer. The film follows Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) as he wrestle with his loss of hope and waning faith as he counsels a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) and her husband, a radical environmentalist, which causes him to despair until he finds redemption in an act of violence.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this film, and I would love a return to form for writer-director Paul Schrader who has made some searing, soul-crushing films in his time, especially when it comes to matters of faith. First Reformed looks like it’s a fully realized vision of Schrader’s thoughts on religion and sin, and I’m eager to see how the film has turned out, especially when it’s got a reputable studio like A24 behind it. It’s also interesting to see the comparisons to Schrader’s script for Taxi Driver, and how that’s being realized in the context of a man of faith wrestling with the darkness of humanity.

Check out the First Reformed trailer below. The film opens on May 18th.

Here’s the official synopsis for First Reformed:

Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke) is a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. 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 (Amanda Seyfried) asks Reverend 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 grandiose 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.



By Matt Goldberg

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