‘By the Grace of God’ Film Review: François Ozon’s Look at Catholic Child Abuse Puts Victims First

  • The Wrap
‘By the Grace of God’ Film Review: François Ozon’s Look at Catholic Child Abuse Puts Victims First
Versatile in a way that few directors at his level of recognition dare to be, prolific French auteur François Ozon follows his psychosexual thriller “Double Lover” with a multi-narrative drama based on true events. “By the Grace of God” offers a masterfully structured and sublimely acted account of a group of men reckoning with childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a priest neglectfully entrusted with their innocence.

While a procedural like Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” took a journalistic angle on the subject, and Pablo Larraín’s “The Club” functioned as fiery character study centered on the perpetrators, Ozon’s compassionate and ideologically balanced take on the Catholic Church’s disgraceful inaction against pedophilia within its ranks serves the victims’ stories first and foremost. The ramifications of the ongoing suffering caused by such despicable criminal acts guide the film through the lives of three distinct survivors.

Email correspondence in voice-over
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