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Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest)

Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest) (1951)

tomatometer

90

Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 4,335

My Rating

Movie Info

An austere look at the experiences of a young priest in a small French parish, Robert Bresson's masterly Le Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest) presents a powerful, complex exploration of faith underneath a deceptively simple exterior. Drawn from a novel by Georges Bernanos, the film centers on the priest of Ambricourt (Claude Laydu), a withdrawn, devout young man whose social awkwardness leaves him isolated from the community he is meant to serve. Further problems derive

Feb 3, 2004

$33.2k

Rialto Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (36) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (2) | DVD (10)

The chance to see Robert Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest... should not be passed up; it is an enterprise of great pith and moment in the history of cinema.

March 5, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film like Diary of a Country Priest gathers its strength as it continues. There's always the sense that Bresson knows exactly where he's going and the simplest way to get there.

March 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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Bresson's third feature and in many ways his first major work.

May 5, 2011 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film that words fail.

April 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The word 'sublime' has often been used to describe this Robert Bresson masterpiece, a slow-paced film of great purity that portrays the pain and occasional joy of the religious life.

February 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
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The full scope of the film's brilliance hits you with the force of a knockout punch.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bresson's cinematographic tour de force is still incredibly impressive and affecting.

March 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

This sublime picture is directed by Robert Bresson, who painstakingly crafts his signature visuals -- stark, forceful and rigorous in their attention to detail -- to bring a striking luminosity to the bleak events.

March 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Diary is less a movie about the necessity of faith than what it means to be cut down in the midst of youthful idealism and intransigence, before life offers wisdom.

March 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

...about the unexpected - and little understood - intermingling of the earthly and the divine.

February 6, 2012 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

Writer/director Robert Bresson adapts his first Georges Bernanos novel (the second, 1967's "Mouchette," plays almost like a mirror image) for his moving paean to spirituality and grace achieved despite great obstacles.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

The film leaves me with a sad, empty feeling inside so I guess Robert Bresson did his job.

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Bresson exemplified 20th-century ecumenical intelligence that is much out of fashion today, yet remains singular and powerful.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

Bresson sees spiritual disorder as a disease, not unlike the stomach cancer we suspect is-and is ultimately confirmed to be-plaguing our titular character.

February 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Its rare glimpses of the French countryside are stark and striking, suggesting that any man who would truly pursue holiness will walk hard roads through desolate lands.

May 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

a flawless piece of work

August 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

can be viewed as the closest thing to a genuine religious experience in film.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The paradoxical discovery of meaning in its apparent absence serves as a primary theme of the film as well as its aesthetic model.

December 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmjourney

Audience Reviews for Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest)

I was extremely underwhelmed. SOOOO much unnecessary voice over, it really felt like Bresson didn't know how to make a film visually so he just patched things up with talking. Memo to you Robert it's a VISUAL medium.

Check out Winter Light instead, it's more or less the same movie except made by a true master of the art form.
March 1, 2011
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

Plot:
Journal d'un cure de Campagne is about a young priest who, whilst suffering from an illness, is assigned to a new parish in a French country village. The story is told by the priests recounting of his experiences in his diary.
December 28, 2009
ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

I know "Diary of a Country Priest" is a universally renowned classic but, sorry, I really did not enjoy this much. I can't relate to wallowing in this sort of miserable piety, and the lead actor has the same dazed, wounded expression on his face throughout the entire film. I have a pet peeve about overuse of narration which this movie certainly violated, and the shapeless, orchestral smears of the score seem quite maudlin and old-fashioned today. I can easily imagine someone else raving about how delicate and lovely Bresson's directing touch is, but I was counting the minutes until the finish. If I crave an old film about a troubled priest, I'll reach for "Nazarin" or "Winter Light" instead.
December 17, 2011
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

I was extremely dissapointed. The biggest problem was the voice over. I mean I'd she motions for you to sit, you don't have to tell me I can see it. I can when you're having a meal, it felt like an audio book. While yes it was entertaining and fairly sad that voice over just ruined the whole thing for me
March 2, 2012
Daniel Dolgin

Super Reviewer

    1. Priest of Ambricourt: I know very well that the desire to pray is already prayer, and that God couldn't ask for more. But if wasn't a question of duty. At that moment I needed prayer like I needed air in my lungs or oxygen in my blood.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
    1. Priest of Ambricourt: The simplest tasks are by no means the easiest.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Diary of a Country Priest (1951) (DE)
  • Diary of a Country Priest (1951) (UK)
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