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Peter T Chattaway

C.O.G.

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Kyle Smith:

PARK CITY -- The first-ever screen adaptation of a David Sedaris “essay” (more like a short story), “C.O.G.” contains some surprisingly heartfelt moments of Christian feeling, although in the end it nullifies itself, leaves its hero right where he started and winds up saying nothing. . . .

Promoted from fruit picker to processing factory worker, Samuel becomes friends with forklift operator Curly (Corey Stoll) but panics during a creepy sexual interlude and runs away. His last option is to move in with a Christian proselytizer (Denis O’Hare) who, it turns out, turned to Jesus after losing his leg in Desert Storm.

It’s a pleasure to watch David’s assumptions being turned upside down as he begins to accept Christian values, if not quite Bible stories themselves. . . .

There are far too many references to gay sex and sex toys in the movie to make it sellable to a Christian audience, and “C.O.G.” (Child of God) comes far too close to endorsing Christian ways (at least in act 2) to make it appeal to intellectual art-house types, but I like what Alvarez has done here. This is a funny, smart study of convincingly complicated characters, and it invites its audience to reflect about whether it’s a tenable position to be an atheist yet accepting of Christianity’s core values.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Is that guy supposed to be Sedaris? Because he does not sound like him at all. (Not necessarily a bad thing...)

 

On the other hand, Corey Stoll!


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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