The Guard director John Michael McDonagh decided to follow up his first directorial effort with something a little different, and Calvary was born.
It's the very, very dark tale of a priest (played by Brendan Gleeson) who is told he only has a week to live. That's not cheery stuff and while there's plenty of comedy on hand its also an incredibly dark piece. And it seems the director's mum is in agreement.
When talking about audience responses to the new film, McDonagh suggested that is quite moving and "quite harrowing - as my mother said 'it's very harrowing!'"
It seems this was the response of his Irish born and raised mum, who moved to England before John Michael and his brother Martin were born. "So she didn't like it!I think even people who don’t like it they kind of have to figure out what’s upset them and why they don’t like it. I don’t think it’s a film that can be dismissed easily. They can’t just walk out and go ‘I didn’t really like that, now I’m going to go to Johnny Rockets and get a hamburger and chips.’ They have to say why they didn’t like it, the reason and what upset them."
It's certainly a bit of a gamble after the highly entertaining tone of The Guard but it seems to have paid off - Calvary took €358,790 on its opening weekend just in Ireland and a further £570,000 since its UK release this past weekend. And that's before it arrives in America this August.
Calvary is in cinemas now, read our full interview with John Michael McDonagh here.