Overall, Francois Ozon has given us a story that is both compassionate and honest. He has also managed to pepper it thought with moments of disarming tenderness. A truly heartening and devastating account.
Ozon is not someone you would normally expect to eschew his usual gothic to make public-service announcements in the manner of this film, but what it shares with his other works is a deep understanding of the way trauma endures in the world.
What makes the portrait of Preynat so effective is that while he's a monster, you also see how this guy won the confidence and respect of parents and parishioners, how he groomed not only children but a whole community.