It’s hard out here for a Catholic priest. What with all of the claims of pedophilia and the resulting lawsuits and church closures, it’s no wonder that Catholic priests, true men of the cloth not souless child rapers, are having a hard time with their faith. It’s tough times like these that require guidance from more than the crazy hippie in the sky. One would need a living flesh and blood human to draw inspiration and admonition from – a muse if you will. A prostitute probably wouldn’t be on the list of possible muses for a Catholic priest going through a mid-life faith crisis, but that’s exactly who Father Anthony Romano taps to get his s**t back together, and thus begins Marc Benardout’s thorougly engaging “Sinner.” Fuckin’ A…I mean, Amen!
Beaten down by near-bankruptcy, Father Anthony Romano finds himself in a tug of war with his partner Father Stephen, who at first appears to have the church’s best interests in focus, but it’s his brutal treatment of a female flesh hustler blowing through town that makes us realize that perhaps Father Stephen doesn’t have all of his marbles gathered properly. And so, Father Anthony is drawn to Lil, a traveling prostitute preying on small town clergymen. He takes her in and soon finds himself being blackmailed for a little secret he’s been keeping from the world. Damn those snakey prostitutes! But Father Anthony doesn’t let this deter him from his goal of saving this lost soul, which would in turn get him back on track. Ultimately, you have two characters fighting to find the chinks in each other’s armor. What makes this struggle special is that these characters are played by two powerhouse actors who demand your attention.
“Sinner” excels on the awkward chemistry between Nick Chinlund as Father Anthony and Georgina Cates as Lil. You could’ve had both of these actors in a movie selling hot dogs on Venice Beach and it would’ve been wholly riveting. The entire cast is great, but these two actors you would be proud of bringing home to mama and papa. The movie world needs more of them right now! They’re dynamite! And so is Marc Benardout’s entire production of “Sinner.” This is a helluva tight film that is bound to stir plenty of conversation. From one sinner to another – May “Sinner” rule!