News: Please be patient while modifications are made to the new themes to add in familiar menus and features.

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: "Broken" Reviews  (Read 7203 times)

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2017, 01:35:01 AM »
BBC One's Broken episode 4 brings viewers to tears
Paula Malcomson and Sean Bean wow with their performances.

Quote
 
Father Michael's very livelihood was on the line in tonight's gripping Broken episode.

The BBC One drama series continues to entrance viewers as it weaves themes of religion, social unrest and mental health into its portrayal of a northern priest struggling within his own inner-turmoil while trying to counsel others.

Whereas previous episodes dealt with police corruption, sexual abuse, suicide and regressive attitudes towards women within the Catholic church, Tuesday's episode put the spotlight firmly on Father Michael's priestly vows.

Those vows were tested when parishioner Roz Demichelis — played brilliantly by Deadwood's Paula Malcomson — reappeared in his life. In an earlier episode, we'd seen Father Michael talk her down from suicide.

However, Roz remained haunted by her past transgressions (including stealing several thousand pounds) and was still on the verge of suicide, driving Father Michael (Sean Bean) to break his seal of confession in an attempt to save her life.

All the while, Father Michael remained haunted by the abuse he'd suffered at the hands of priest in his own childhood and was helpless to look on as his mother's health rapidly deteriorated.

 Paula Malcomson and Sean Bean wowed viewers with their performances:

Broken will return next week (Tuesday, June 27) for its penultimate episode at 9pm on BBC One as Father Michael tries to desperately to keep the peace between two warring neighbours.
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a831276/broken-episode-4-reactions-paula-malcomson-sean-bean/



SPOILERS 

‘I can’t breathe’ Broken viewers DEVASTATED as horrifying death causes major upset

Quote
BROKEN viewers were stunned tonight after the BBC drama closed with an unexpected death. 

The Sean Bean lead six-part series came to a dramatic ending tonight as Roz Demicheles, played by Paula Malcomson, took her own life by jumping off a tower block.

After confessing to stealing over Ł200,000 from her boss to feed her gambling habit, Roz sadly saw no other way out.

“If you’d have told me 10 years ago that I’d end up here, I’d have laughed in your face,” she told Father Michael. “I suppose everybody has their thing, where they want to feel nothing, to disappear.”

She elaborated: “Those machines were my thing, and if my boss hadn’t found out, they’d still be my thing.”

 She continued: “I would say is don’t think this is something that happens to other people, other people that aren’t like you. It could happen to your kid, you, your mother, your brother. Just don’t let them near them.”

Broken: How many episodes are in Broken? What time is it on the BBC? Cast, trailer, more

However, what really struck a nerve with audiences was the moment her daughter came rushing through her family home to find an empty house and note.

The horrifying scenes knocked viewers for six and left thousands bombarding Twitter with posts of heartbreak.

“I’m #Broken Harrowing, devastating, unbearable to watch but couldn't look away #SuicidePrevention,” cried one sobbing audience member, which was followed by: “Has left me absolutely heartbroken. Each week outdoes the last. Sean Bean showing yet again what an immense talent he is xXx.”

A third wailed: “Absolutely traumatised watching #Broken tonight #crackingtelevision.”

Others commended the show for highlighting the potentially tragic consequences of gambling addiction.

For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch

Broken continues next Tuesday at 9pm on BBC One.
http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/819425/Broken-Roz-Demicheles-death-Sean-Bean-Father-Michael-Paula-Malcomson-BBC-drama






« Last Edit: June 21, 2017, 03:06:08 AM by patch »

Offline AnnetteC45

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Fan
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2017, 07:45:17 PM »
Will there ever be a way for me to see Broken in the U.S, maybe You Tube? I've seen trailers and clips. From what I have been able to see, very profound subject matters and strong performances. Any ideas please?

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2017, 12:31:01 AM »
Broken finale: Sean Bean BBC drama set to feature ‘DEVASTATING’ confession
IT HAS kept viewers glued to their seats since it started airing over a month ago, now with only one episode left, Broken fans are in for quite the finale.

Quote
The drama is set to conclude with an Earth-shattering confession as Father Michael Kerrigan (played by Sean Bean) has a frank conversation with his dying mother (Aine Ni Mhuiri).

In a teasing Twitter post shared by LA Productions, the film company behind the BBC drama, the final instalment will feature a big moment: “Next week's finale of #JimmyMcGovern's #Broken: Father Michael makes a devastating confession as his mother faces her final hours @BBCOne.”

Along with the caption, there was also a photo from the last episode showing Father Michael presiding over the coffin and funeral service which could be his own mother’s ceremony.

Will Father Michael finally talk about the horrific abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest? Will he break his silence on his difficult childhood? Fans will have to wait until next week for those questions to be answered.

Tonight's episode of Broken saw Father Michael trying to settle a dispute between Daniel Martin (Danny Sapani) and Carl McKenna (Ned Dennehy) after the two men got into a spat involving both homophobia and racism.

Despite Father Michael’s various “Ban Ki-moon” attempts to get the two men to put their differences to one side, the priest could not get them to agree.

Luckily, Carl conceded and the matter was grudgingly dropped as Helen Oyenusi (Muna Otaru) berated her brother Daniel for his behaviour.

The episode not only looked at faith versus sexuality but also grief and morals in a time of changing attitudes.

As Father Michael attempted to resolve the quarrel between the two men, he was seen visiting Father Peter Flaherty (Adrian Dunbar) for guidance over the problematic situation.
 
The six-part drama from Accused writer Jimmy McGovern has followed the trials and tribulations of the Catholic priest as he tries to help his local community in their hour of need.

Previous episodes of Broken have seen Father Michael having to deal with the suicide of one woman and the unlawful killing of a black teenager by the police amid a coverup.

Broken concludes on BBC One next Tuesday at 9pm.
http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/822108/Broken-finale-Sean-Bean-BBC-Accused-Jimmy-McGovern



Broken continues to break taboos and confront morality in another "powerful" episode
And viewers are completely in love with it.
Quote
Jimmy McGovern's "powerful" drama Broken returned to our screens for its penultimate episode tonight (June 27), and viewers are still completely captivated by it.

Tonight's episode saw Sean Bean's Father Michael attempt to heal the divisions between two families, both in the throes of grief, as they clashed over religion and sexuality.

Despite confronting the thorny and conflicting issues of the Catholic church, homosexuality and racism, viewers praised writer Jimmy McGovern for his brilliantly "relevant" storylines

Amid all the love for the series' raw and "amazing" portrayal of humanity in all its forms, fans were united over two things:

1) Sean Bean deserves all the awards, and 2) There better be a second season.
 
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a831831/broken-powerful-penultimate-episode-break-taboo-viewers-reaction/

Offline Clairette

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Beanstalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2017, 02:32:49 AM »
Quote
1) Sean Bean deserves all the awards, and 2) There better be a second season.
2) Yes!
1) YES!!!

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2017, 03:01:34 AM »
BROKEN BUT BRILLIANT

Quote
Jimmy McGovern's BBC1 sociopolitical drama Broken is unequivocally the best thing on TV right now.  This week was the fourth instalment and its brilliance remains ever strong.  It is brilliantly written and acted and has truly secured actor Sean Bean's status as being a living national treasure.

Quote
This drama is the best thing I have seen Sean Bean in. As Father Michael Kerrigan, he is completely believable in this role. He too is a tortured soul as we have seen him have regular flashbacks of a sexually abusive childhood at school. It is such a mature accomplished performance by Bean, that he deserves major awards for his compelling performance.

I look forward to watching the completion of this series because it drew me in straight away. I care about all the residents of this community and especially about the life of Father Michael Kerrigan.. Each week week I have marvelled at the greatness of Sean Bean and of the quality of this drama. AMEN FOR THE BRILLIANT 'BROKEN' I SAY! 5/5.

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2017, 06:50:14 AM »
TV review: Broken

The Catholic Church’s attitudes towards homosexuality came under the microscope, while Sean Bean’s performance continues to shine


Quote
The Catholic church in the northwesterly city that is not quite Liverpool in Broken may look pretty, especially during first communions with all the little girls in those princess frocks their mothers can barely afford. Morally, it does not survive much inspection, however.

The priest in charge, Sean Bean’s Father Michael Kerrigan, experienced sadistic and paedophile priests growing up. The church is not only misogynist, but phobic about women: Michael thinks the ban on women priests stems from a fear of ........
 
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tv-review-broken-hospital-htbft9jss

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2017, 06:53:52 AM »
You know what is amazing to me? I don't see any discussion of this in the Catholic blogosphere. Okay, I realise that not many people can watch it if they don't live in the UK, but still I'm surprised that this not generating more discussion.

Offline Clairette

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Beanstalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2017, 05:11:52 AM »
It's just "for the collection."
Perhaps you will be pleased or curious to learn that in Siberia, too, write reviews of Broken

http://info.sibnet.ru/article/521204/
21.06.2017.

«Сломленный»: в финале Шон умрет?
Broken: will Sean die in the finals?
Quote
Poverty and human vices cause a person to turn to the confessor at the most difficult moments. But sometimes the priest himself needs help no less than his flock. This will be discussed in a new series about the English priest.
....

Although the review is so-so, to be honest 



Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2017, 12:14:13 AM »
If The Handmaid’s Tale makes you despair of religion, try Broken

Sean Bean’s turn as a troubled priest in the BBC drama celebrates the best of religion while acknowledging the worst, says David Butcher

Quote
In its way, Broken is the most radical drama of the year so far. Why? Because it offers something you hardly ever see on TV outside of Easter week – a story that’s as religious as a stained glass window. And unlike The Handmaid’s Tale (very unlike The Handmaid’s Tale), it comes with a broadly positive take on Christianity.

The story of a troubled Catholic priest, played with heart and soul by Sean Bean, does something vanishingly rare in the schedules: it celebrates the best of religion while acknowledging the worst.

In the end, though, this Tuesday's finale couldn’t have been a better advertisement for the priesthood if it had come with a blessing from Pope Francis himself. Maybe that shouldn’t feel so shocking. But invariably, films and dramas portray Catholicism as a strange and suspect business – all bells, smells and weirdos.
 
As a very lapsed Catholic myself, I can well understand that. I went to a Jesuit boarding school in the 1970s and 80s and heaven knows, it was an eccentric, archaic kind of place. So I can well see why, for directors and writers, it’s irresistible to film church locations as shadowy and sinister, with a priest who is a creepy hypocrite at best, and a child abuser at worst. How many crime dramas over the years have used an abusive Catholic priest as a plot point?

You can’t blame them. The fact a top Vatican cardinal was recently charged by an Australian court with multiple sexual offences suggests the extent of the possible skeletons the Church may still have in its sacristy cupboard. It’s a scandal that could take decades, perhaps generations, to recover from.

In his scripts for Broken, Jimmy McGovern doesn’t shy away from that ugly history, not a bit. The main character, Fr Michael, is haunted by memories of being bullied and abused at the hands of a grubby priest who taught him at school. The flashbacks keep assailing him just as he is at the most solemn part of Mass, the consecration of the bread and wine, making him stumble and freeze.

He is assailed by doubts: “I’m not a priest, I’m an imposter,” he groaned in the final episode. The irony is that we know, from everything we’ve seen him do over the series, that Fr Michael is in fact as terrific a priest as any community could hope to have.
 One of McGovern’s achievements (and Bean’s) is to give us that rare thing, a genuinely kind and selfless protagonist – who is at the same time conflicted and flawed (or else there would be no drama at all…)

He also has the hardest working conscience in Liverpool. What’s the right response if you discover one of your poorest parishioners (Anna Friel) has concealed her mother’s death in order to keep claiming her pension – a victimless crime if ever there was one? Fr Michael works it out. If a woman comes to you and calmly confesses she plans to take her own life, how do you react? Should you break the bond of the confessional to save her? Again, he steers a compassionate course through choppy ethical waters.

Not that he’s anyone’s clerical goody-goody. The scene where Fr Michael lays into local betting shops from the pulpit, condemning the fact that they install machines to prey on the city’s poorest, is full of the righteous anger that McGovern dishes out better than anyone. (It can make him preachy at times, but not here.) The scene that follows, where locals go out with baseball bats to solemnly smash in the machines has a real moral clout to it.

McGovern clearly respects religion – even fusty, dusty Catholicism – because he sees it bringing a moral yardstick to things. He values the way religion holds us to account, the way it offers ideals, however tarnished, and solace in tough times. He knows the sins of organised Christianity – and attacks them mercilessly in a way TV might shy away from with other religions – but in the end he draws a sympathetic picture.

All this is clearly at the opposite end of the spectrum from The Handmaid’s Tale, with its bitter portrait of a society ruled by evangelical thugs. That’s a brilliant piece of television – and with the kind of American budget and production values McGovern could only dream of. But in its way Broken offers a good counterweight. And if Bean isn’t nominated for a Bafta next spring, it’ll be the devil’s work.
http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-07-04/if-the-handmaids-tale-makes-you-despair-of-religion-try-broken


Broken episode 6 review
 
Broken concludes with a moving episode that takes Father Michael to his lowest point and back…
Quote
If I had my druthers, Sean Bean would play Father Michael Kerrigan for the next thirty years and become as dissociable from the role as David Suchet in Poirot or Tom Baker in Doctor Who. Instead of Sharpe or Boromir or Ned Stark, the words ‘Sean Bean’ would instantly conjure up the image of a man in a cassock struggling to do good.

It won’t happen – Broken’s creator Jimmy McGovern has already suggested that it’ll be one and done for Bean, who, understandably, feels he’s gone as far as he can with the part. He is often one for an early exit, after all.

But he’ll be missed, because we need characters like Father Michael on television - people we can look up to, whose deeds and manner sustain us. We need to see characters whose heroism means pushing a vacuum cleaner around a grieving house or recognising that someone else is in pain and trying to ease it, with a smile, an anecdote, food vouchers, or a blistering speech on righteous anger.

(When Father Michael took on that grubby bookie - a peach of a cameo by Phil Davis - and sent his congregation onto the streets with hammers to smash those vampiric machines, they should have made him pope.)                     

At least we left him on a hopeful note. The characters we’ve watched him support over the last six emotional episodes gave him the It’s A Wonderful Life moment he deserves. Christina Fitzsimmons, P.C. Andrew Powell, Chloe Demichelis, Helen Oyenusi and more queued up to support him back. He finally made it through the consecration - the moment his subconscious had chosen to punish him repeatedly throughout the series - without a traumatic flashback. It may not mean he’s found peace, exactly, but he’s closer than before. 

Broken’s finale took Michael to his lowest point, but also included some of his lightest moments. Him singing with his brothers at their mum’s funeral and doing that can-fuelled fifty-yard dash in the rain were life-giving scenes. Their effervescence and overlapping chaos made a good contrast with the careful control of the speeches at Vernon’s inquest.

That too had a happy ending, of sorts. Helen Oyenusi was vindicated at least, and Vernon would be recorded as the victim of an unlawful killing instead of a dangerous and violent man. That was thanks to the strength of Andrew, who followed Father Michael’s guidance and example and told the truth even though it cost him dearly.

Father Michael chose not to tell the truth, or at least the whole truth, to his dying mum. He remembered much more than her being a wonderful mother, but cared too much about her feelings to confront her with old ghosts. Her death seemed to release him from a kind of purgatory. No more nights on the bedroom floor for him, and no more need to be a priest for her approval. If he stays in the church now, it’s because he wants to.
Broken was a gutsy series. It dramatised big themes—conscience, guilt, shame—and, with powerful writing and performances, told big stories about the Church, poverty and abuse. It’s made for bitter viewing at times but even at its toughest, there's been a lit candle glowing determinedly at its centre. Amen, Father Michael, you wonderful priest. And amen, Sean Bean, you wonderful actor.
http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/broken/50484/broken-episode-6-review


Broken viewers call for Bafta for Sean Bean drama
Quote
Broken viewers have called for Sean Bean to be given a Bafta for his portrayal of a troubled Catholic priest in the TV drama.

Bean starred opposite Anna Friel in Jimmy McGovern’s powerful BBC series about a priest who was abused as a child and is now trying to help a poor northern community.

One viewer wrote on Twitter: “Seriously, just give the BAFTA to Sean Bean NOW… Boy, he has been magnificent in this,” while another said: “Sean Bean has been immense in #Broken. Every week he has delivered a acting masterclass that’s been compelling to watch. Worthy of awards.”

Another added: “Every member of the cast and crew deserves an award for their work in this drama. This drama must get a Bafta.” while one more said: “#Broken best drama this year. If Sean Bean doesn’t get a BAFTA there’s no justice in the world.”

Yet another said: “A BAFTA is definitely heading Sean Beans way, his acting in #Broken has been outstanding, there’s SO much emotion in his performance.”
 
http://www.impartialreporter.com/news/entertainment/15390221.Broken_viewers_call_for_Bafta_for_Sean_Bean_drama/






« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 01:01:23 AM by patch »

Offline Clairette

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Beanstalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2017, 12:34:29 AM »
Oh, that's the right review.

Well finished e6.
I hope it will be the second season.

Offline Clairette

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Beanstalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2017, 12:38:53 AM »
Quote
“Seriously, just give the BAFTA to Sean Bean NOW…



Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2017, 12:47:06 AM »
Oh, that's the right review.

Well finished e6.
I hope it will be the second season.

Broken: Does THIS prove that Sean Bean will be BACK for a second series?

BROKEN'S finale broadcast this evening, leaving viewers calling for a second series.
Quote
All seemed like it was ending for Father Michael Kerrigan (played by Sean Bean) in tonight's episode after he made a confession and vowed to give up the priesthood.

However, in moving final scenes, the congregation each called Father Michael a "wonderful priest" one by one.

With a growing smile and glint in his eye as the episode cut to the credits, does this mean he will be back for more drama with a second series?

Fans praised the BBC and the show's writers following the episode, instantly taking to social media to "demand" the drama wins awards.
One viewer tweeted: "If Sean Bean doesn't win the BAFTA for #Broken, I will demand a recount and bust up something with a sledgehammer."

"I'm assuming #SeanBean, the cast, writers and crew will sweep every award going for the brilliant, bleak & beautiful #BROKEN," posted another.

A third added: "Broken worth every penny of my licence fee. Absolutely excellent #BROKEN," as a fourth said: "Watching #Broken. Fabulous TV. Sean Bean is great. Writing can't be faulted. Nice one BBC."
A fifth added: "#Broken Drama as art of the very highest order. Been a privilege to experience Jimmy McGovern's reflection of these lives. #Brilliant," as another noted: "#BROKEN Why have I got water coming from my eyes."

Sadly, Broken writer Jimmy McGovern exclusively told Express.co.uk that he expects Sean Bean to "move on" following tonight's conclusion.
 
http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/824797/Broken-season-2-Sean-Bean-return-Father-Michael-Kerrigan-Jimmy-McGovern-Drama-BBC


Broken: TV's unmissable answer to It’s a Wonderful Life – with added Sean Bean

Harrowing, heartbreaking and finally hopeful, Jimmy McGovern has taken a leaf out of Frank Capra’s book to serve up some staggering television

Quote
Warning: this article contains spoilers from Broken on the BBC.

So Jimmy McGovern’s harrowing but hope-filled Broken ended the way it should: with redemption for Father Michael Kerrigan, and reaffirmation that even the smallest acts can truly bring about change.

McGovern has said that he saw the series – about a priest serving his community in the northwest of England – as a homage to It’s a Wonderful Life. And it is true that, like Frank Capra’s masterwork, Broken was ultimately a drama about the seemingly insignificant ways we touch people’s lives, and the sins of omission that can loom so large.

Father Michael, so brilliantly played by Sean Bean, was tormented by one such moment: his decision not to answer the phone to Helen Oyenusi (Muna Otaru) when she called to ask that he calm down her son. It was such a simple decision – haven’t we all looked at our phones and thought “I’ll call back tomorrow” – but then Vernon Oyenusi died, shot by a police officer. Father Michael not only had to live with the fallout, but also reckon with his failure to tell Helen he could have picked up her call.

Broken was full of such heartbreaking instances. In the first episode, Anna Friel’s Christina was fired for being late to work at the local bookies; her boss later admitted to Father Michael in confession that she had reacted so strongly because she’d had bad news of her own that morning.

But if McGovern homed in on how the most minute events can set off a cataclysm in someone else’s life, he also focused on the equally small acts of kindness that transform someone’s day. The headlines before the show aired spoke about Broken Britain, of poverty and debt and job losses. And while Broken did tackle these things with McGovern’s trademark blend of wit and rage, it was above all a celebration of community and the connections we should all try to find.

It was also about faith. McGovern is no longer a practising Catholic, and his leading man admits his childhood church attendance was sporadic at best. Yet Broken was an astute depiction of organised religion in general, and the Catholic church in particular. This was not television intent on mocking the church or its believers, nor keen to hammer home its many flaws. The abuse scandals, the attitude towards women, the obsession with ritual at the cost of reality were addressed, but overall the show was not condemnatory. Instead it interrogated the very nature of faith: what leads a person to believe, and why you might live out your entire life as an act of atonement.

Thus, one of the most interesting things about Father Michael was that despite the abuse he suffered as a child, at the hands of the fathers who taught him, and even though he applied those lessons to the wider world as a young man, he came to realise that they were wrong. He found faith and hugged it deep. He might have struggled with his vocation but he never lost faith. Not in his god, nor in the belief that there was goodness in this world.

It helped that Bean turned in the performance of his career. He showed us a conflicted man who channelled feelings of hopelessness into offering hope to others. We believed in Father Michael because Bean made us believe. It was a largely interior performance – we often understood his torment best when he said nothing – yet a powerful one, in which he showed us not just how a man like this might become a priest, but also, crucially, why he would remain one.

Some scenes, such as the moment in the finale when Father Michael’s sermon about money lenders led to the smashing of a bookie’s machines, were a little broad. But I would argue that this was a passion play, and that, as such, all biblical overtones were intentional. It is true, too, that McGovern took the sledgehammer approach at times, ramming home points about suffering and social injustice. Again, though, such passion felt justified. Television is less angry than it once was, and all the poorer for it: McGovern’s fury coupled with Bean’s despair made for an unmissable series.

Was the ending, with Father Michael’s parishioners queuing up to tell him that he was a wonderful priest, a deliberately sentimental echo of the final moments of It’s a Wonderful Life? Absolutely. But after six hours of bleak and bruising storylines, McGovern earned the right to a bit of redemption. Like Capra, he has always enjoyed throwing sentiment into the mix, and he gets away with it because of the power and the humour of what has come before. No other drama this year has cut me so deep to my core.
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/05/broken-bbc-tvs-answer-to-its-a-wonderful-life-with-added-sean-bean


Broken's final episode blows everyone away as Sean Bean delivers an acting masterclass


Quote
BC One's Broken came to a moving end tonight (July 4) as Sean Bean's Father Michael hit rock bottom before the series finished on an uplifting note.

He bravely faced his mother's death, but in the end decided not to tell her the entire truth of his abuse at the hands of a priest as a child, caring too much for her feelings to shatter her in her final hours.

Father Michael then presided over her funeral and stood alongside his brothers singing for her during the service, and eventually managed to make his way through the consecration without having flashbacks.

It was an hour of television that profoundly moved viewers, who immediately took to Twitter through tears at the show's final episode:

 Sean Bean was singled out for particular praise, amid numerous calls for his outstanding work on the series to be recognised with awards:
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a832397/broken-final-episode-bbc-one-sean-bean-jimmy-mcgovern-viewer-praise/










« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 01:19:29 AM by patch »

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2017, 02:14:51 AM »

Broken episode 6 review
 
Broken concludes with a moving episode that takes Father Michael to his lowest point and back…
Quote
If I had my druthers, Sean Bean would play Father Michael Kerrigan for the next thirty years and become as dissociable from the role as David Suchet in Poirot or Tom Baker in Doctor Who. Instead of Sharpe or Boromir or Ned Stark, the words ‘Sean Bean’ would instantly conjure up the image of a man in a cassock struggling to do good.

It won’t happen – Broken’s creator Jimmy McGovern has already suggested that it’ll be one and done for Bean, who, understandably, feels he’s gone as far as he can with the part. He is often one for an early exit, after all.

But he’ll be missed, because we need characters like Father Michael on television - people we can look up to, whose deeds and manner sustain us. We need to see characters whose heroism means pushing a vacuum cleaner around a grieving house or recognising that someone else is in pain and trying to ease it, with a smile, an anecdote, food vouchers, or a blistering speech on righteous anger.

(When Father Michael took on that grubby bookie - a peach of a cameo by Phil Davis - and sent his congregation onto the streets with hammers to smash those vampiric machines, they should have made him pope.)                     

At least we left him on a hopeful note. The characters we’ve watched him support over the last six emotional episodes gave him the It’s A Wonderful Life moment he deserves. Christina Fitzsimmons, P.C. Andrew Powell, Chloe Demichelis, Helen Oyenusi and more queued up to support him back. He finally made it through the consecration - the moment his subconscious had chosen to punish him repeatedly throughout the series - without a traumatic flashback. It may not mean he’s found peace, exactly, but he’s closer than before. 

Broken’s finale took Michael to his lowest point, but also included some of his lightest moments. Him singing with his brothers at their mum’s funeral and doing that can-fuelled fifty-yard dash in the rain were life-giving scenes. Their effervescence and overlapping chaos made a good contrast with the careful control of the speeches at Vernon’s inquest.

That too had a happy ending, of sorts. Helen Oyenusi was vindicated at least, and Vernon would be recorded as the victim of an unlawful killing instead of a dangerous and violent man. That was thanks to the strength of Andrew, who followed Father Michael’s guidance and example and told the truth even though it cost him dearly.

Father Michael chose not to tell the truth, or at least the whole truth, to his dying mum. He remembered much more than her being a wonderful mother, but cared too much about her feelings to confront her with old ghosts. Her death seemed to release him from a kind of purgatory. No more nights on the bedroom floor for him, and no more need to be a priest for her approval. If he stays in the church now, it’s because he wants to.
Broken was a gutsy series. It dramatised big themes—conscience, guilt, shame—and, with powerful writing and performances, told big stories about the Church, poverty and abuse. It’s made for bitter viewing at times but even at its toughest, there's been a lit candle glowing determinedly at its centre. Amen, Father Michael, you wonderful priest. And amen, Sean Bean, you wonderful actor.
http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/tv/broken/50484/broken-episode-6-review



Spot-on review.

"Amen, Father Michael, you wonderful priest. And amen, Sean Bean, you wonderful actor."

 :fireworks1:

Offline Clairette

  • Frisk-eh's Playhouse
  • Beanstalker
  • *
  • Posts: 1447
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2017, 03:30:38 AM »
Spot-on review.

"Amen, Father Michael, you wonderful priest. And amen, Sean Bean, you wonderful actor."

 :fireworks1:
That is bloody beautiful finale, right?
Sean is great and brilliant, McGovern is also wow

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2017, 05:06:29 AM »
Broken, BBC One series finale review - Seán Bean's quiet immensity
Quote

The Catholic Church hasn’t enjoyed a good press on screen lately. Nuns punished Irishwomen for their pregnancies in Philomena. Priests interfered with altar boys in Spotlight. And in The Young Pope a Vatican fixated on conservatism and casuistry elects a pontiff who sees himself as a rock star. Broken was Jimmy McGovern’s agonised absolution for a church in crisis.

Over six parts on BBC One, Broken has felt like walking along half a dozen stations of the cross. McGovern’s portrait of a broken priest – and by extension, a broken priesthood – was exceptionally short on levity or solace. The doubts of Father Michael Kerrigan pursued him to the brink of despair, as he perceived in himself only failure and fraudulence. And the redemption when it came felt like a message from McGovern to the Roman Catholic church. Not quite keep calm and bugger on (because that has been part of the problem), but keep the faith, keep up the good work.

At times the drama looked like a greatest hits of McGovern’s obsessions and preoccupations. Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem “The Wind Hover” first came up in The Lakes, the priest who is fearful of his own homosexuality in Priest. A character who couldn’t live with himself leapt off a high-rise building in Cracker. And from Cracker onwards, a constant thread of McGovern’s writing has been the moral dilemma of the priest, as a receptacle of terrible truths, who cannot break the seal of confession. Adrian Dunbar, who played one such priest in the very first episode of Cracker, completed the circle as a sort of benign father confessor to Father Michael Kerrigan in Broken.

 But it has all been very different too. Unlike the self-contained stories in McGovern's dramas The Street or Accused, the blighted lives of Broken’s parishioners spilled across one another. Only the fifth episode embarked on a plotline and concluded it, and it felt like one McGovern has been itching to tackle for years: the dialectical struggle between the letter and spirit of the Bible on the matter of homosexuality (eliciting a firecracker of a performance from Ned Dennehy as grieving, dope-smoking lapsed Catholic homosexual).

Elsewhere, a woman kept her mother’s death secret so she could claim her pension. A mentally ill boy was unlawfully killed by the police. A woman addicted to gambling abandoned her three children by committing suicide rather than face the shame of prison for theft. Her daughter took vengeance on the slot machines with a sledgehammer, allowing Phil Davis to march in and deliver two wonderfully contrasting cameos.

Sometimes it has felt as if McGovern and his co-writers (Shaun Duggan, Colette Kane, Nick Leather) were wielding a similar implement. But mostly the writing has been feather-light, and it has met with a performance of quiet immensity from Seán Bean as Father Michael, the priest who is never off duty (and the one moment he is, when he fails to answer the call of a parishioner, his conscience punishes him to the limits). Bean has made a career out of playing thugs and swashbucklers, so this staggering turn as a softly spoken hulk anguished by cruel memories from his youth came up on the blind side. His voice barely ever troubled the decibel counter until the final episode when he rose to righteous fervour in his sermon about the moneylenders in the temple. Of the many excellent performances, Muna Otaru as Helen Oyenusi and as Roz Demichelis (pictured below with Bean) stood out as a sort of suffering Madonna and self-punishing Mary Magdalene.

The dramatic structure was never more jaggedly imperfect than in the final episode, which was built around a tense inquest, a riotous wake, and a redemptive funeral. There was nothing so clean as closure in those flashbacks to Kerrigan’s haunting childhood, so reminiscent of Dennis Potter. A deathbed apology from his mother (Aine Ni Mhuiri) was all he got, and it had to be enough. And yet imperfection – the absence of conclusions – felt right.

Probably only McGovern could have got this series commissioned: six primetime hours devoted to matters of faith and conscience in a nominally Anglican culture. At least from Catholicism you get blood, guts and thunder, not the vanilla agonies and pastel ecstasies of the Church of England. The final absolution for Father Michael, in which his parishioners queued up at communion to thank and praise him, was also vintage McGovern: somewhere between unforgiveable and unarguable. Who else confesses that they were deeply moved?
http://www.theartsdesk.com/tv/broken-bbc-one-series-finale-review-se%C3%A1n-beans-quiet-immensity


Broken. Television Review.
Quote
The sense of social injustice is one that never leaves Jimmy McGovern, one of the true greats of modern British television he touches a raw nerve with his insight into the human condition and the anger inside; he also is one to not let sentiment take any prisoners if there is a moment of truth that will devastate the viewer but also send tidal waves of bitterness towards the uncaring forces that are supposed to be seen as leaders but in whom are, for the most part, uncaring, self serving shadows of men.

What Mr. McGovern and the team he has surrounded himself with in Broken has managed to do is beyond beautiful, reaching out far outside of disgust towards those who use religion as a means to push their own perverted sense of preaching and instead offering the picture of a flawed but decent human being caught up in the lives of both his parish and his own past.

To offer this level of compassion in a drama is normally one that would be seen as almost sugary, too sweet to be handled with more than a nod to thought of what a priest should be and yet with Sean Bean cast as the main character Father Kerrigan, a part that arguably doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of an actor who has played physically demanding characters all his life, that compassion shown is full of depth and honour.

Where the story perhaps truly hits home is with the parishioner Roz Demichelis whose addiction to gambling on fruit machines has spiralled out of control and who tells Father Michael of her plans to commit suicide as she confesses to having stolen her bosses’ money to fund the addiction

It is the heartbreaking reality of the situation which makes you look at the society you live in, where you can walk around a town for ten minutes and come across more betting shops, more casinos than could have ever been imagined 20 years ago; there all to offer a cheap thrill, the small gamble of the last five pounds that you have to last you, chasing the dream of a big win that will ease all your problems. Jimmy McGovern captures this particular social ill and disease with accuracy and the devastating fall out that is at times more destructive than any other compulsion.

With Sean Bean showing the same form on television as he has done throughout his illustrious career on film, and supported by superb performances by Muna Otaru and Paula Malcolmson, Broken is a powerful series that manages to show humanity at its best in amongst the grit, grime and lies of modern society that is devoid of faith.
 
http://www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk/2017/07/05/broken-television-review/



Last night's TV review: Broken (BBC1): stretching credibility to breaking point
Quote
What would Jesus do? It’s a common enough question, and it'd be wrong to deride it. Whether you believe in talking donkeys or the Virgin birth or any of the other challenging stuff in the Bible, it is perfectly reasonable to consider some moral dilemma against the teachings of Christ, that usually being a reasonable approximation of a humane, if not humanist, solution.

What, then, do you think Jesus would have thought about Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, as legalised by, and regulated under, the Gambling Act 2005, one of the less lovely legacies of the Blair era? Father Michael (Sean Bean) in Broken was militantly clear: you should follow the example of Christ driving out the money changers from the temple.

 What’s more, Father Michael went on, according to St John’s Gospel Christ didn’t just chuck their tables around but took a whip to the olden days bankers as well – inflicting actual bodily harm on them. A sledgehammer, if not the whip, was what  one member of his flock, Chloe Demichelis (Lauren Lyle), had already taken into her local betting shop to end the productive lives of four FOBTs, which admittedly are the devil’s work.

It was an act, as the priest put it about Our Lord’s pioneering act of violence, of “righteous anger” against those who’d profit from the desperation of the needy. We had seen how Chloe’s mum had taken her own life after becoming addicted to them, the “crack cocaine of gambling”, as so many do. Morally defensible, but still criminal damage and leaves you open to a restraining order and a possible prison sentence. 

So the sixth episode of Broken was following the pattern of the previous five, grinding its way through the familiar series of social problems being endured by families just about not managing at the arse end of Theresa May’s Britain. Mental illness, pressurised police, food banks, truanting kids, gambling addiction, the benefits system – you name it, and there was usually a call in to the priest.

Some of the details of the various storylines, such as when Christina Fitzsimmons (Anna Friel) tries to deceive the authorities about the death of her mother in the first episode, may have stretched credulity, but the background reality cannot be challenged. If anything, as the Grenfell Tower disaster may yet prove, Broken’s unstinting catalogue of social evils understates what is happening to the poorest in society.

The actors’ performances and the photography in Broken were flawless, in the sense that they made the dramatic best of this subject matter. And yet the whole seemed less than the sum of its parts. This is because the central premise of a Roman Catholic priest occupied 24/7 with the most appalling crimes and circumstances were just not successful. Too many of the set-piece speeches were clumsily political, and even when characters were on hand to balance things. For example, Phil Davis was excellent as the vexed betting-shop owner, but his confrontation with Chloe was rendered as some sort of sub-Socratic dialogue. It didn’t work, despite the obvious skill and effort and passion writer Jimmy McGovern put into it.

Still, I could have forgiven Broken all of that sort of stuff were it not for a final scene, which saw some of his congregation repeatedly utter the mantra “you wonderful priest” to Father Michael as he dished out the wafers at Holy Communion. As someone brought up to believe in the Catechism literal truth of transubstantiation, which is that you are literally putting a sliver of the body of Christ in your mouth during Mass (a disturbing thought for an eight-year old fussy eater), I can believe most things – but I really couldn't believe that final scene. It was, frankly, ridiculous. Up to that point Father Michael had functioned as a sort of semi-credible cross between Mother Theresa and Dennis Skinner, but this is when all the tendentiousness and sentimentality just went absurd. The mass is ended, go in peace.
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/last-nights-tv-broken-bbc1-stretching-credibility-too-far-a7821141.html







« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 07:21:04 AM by patch »

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2017, 12:34:12 AM »
Sean Bean’s lessons for the C of E
Quote
ON TUESDAY night, more than four million of us watched the final episode of Broken, BBC1’s nail-biting saga. It tells the story of a few days in the life of an inner-city Roman Catholic priest, Fr Michael Kerrigan, played by Sean Bean (TV, 9 June).

Little in the six episodes of Broken would have surprised many clergy working in the inner cities, and, of course, nothing surprised Fr Kerrigan. He knew that his parish­ioner had delayed notifying the police about her mother’s death so that she could claim the pension. Mediating over an assault of a gay man by a BME man was all just part of everyday life.

Fr Kerrigan’s parishioners may have thought him “a wonderful priest”, but he was certainly not, in contemporary terms, very succes­s­ful. There was no sign of growth in his con­gregation, and nothing ap­­proach­ing “missional activity”.

Throughout the six episodes, Fr Kerrigan is haunted by his failure, exhausted at the end of a long day, to pick up an answerphone message that could have saved the life of a mentally ill young man. Later, he fails to prevent a mother killing herself, and, after trying to support a gay man, finds himself labelled “a bloody hypocrite” by the man. No increase in mass attendance here!

What seems so refreshing about Fr Kerrigan is that he is not a “super-priest”. He makes mistakes. He carries his own demons of being abused at school and ill-treated by his mother, and having ill-treated women in his youth. He is flawed and, by many standards, unspectac­ular.

 But he is there, in a life-giving way, for the mother with the men­tally ill son, the policeman who is under intense pressure to cover up the truth, the children whose mother has taken her life, and the woman who has been stealing from her employer; the list, over six weeks, went on. Time and again, he lights a candle “to remind us that Christ is here”, and, time and again, we sense that he is, too.

Somebody on social media has suggested that Broken should be used in clergy recruitment, and I think that this is right. The Church of England needs both the growth of the HTB plants and the apparently unsuccessful ministry of the priest in the supermarket aisle.

Broken gives us an overdue op­­por­­tunity to celebrate the latter.
 
https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/7-july/comment/opinion/sean-bean-s-lessons-for-the-c-of-e


Why BBC series Broken is an accurate portrayal of priesthood
Quote


The BBC drama series, Broken, has received rave reviews with many calling for lead actor Sean Bean to be awarded a BAFTA for his role. Many Church leaders have expressed how it accurately portrays the complexity of calling and serving God’s Church. Cindy Kent, explains what makes the series so poignant.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers*

It’s a drama series about a well-respected and much loved Catholic priest  - Fr Michael - presiding over a large parish on the outskirts of a major city in northern England. Sean Bean plays the troubled priest and plays it with all his body, mind and spirit. The six week series followed various strands – Fr Michael’s own abuse at the hand of another Catholic priest; the killing of a troubled young Black boy; the suicide of a woman who robbed her firm to feed her fruit machine addiction and more - an insight into the everyday life of a 21st Century urban parish priest

 writer Jimmy McGovern (Cracker, Hillsborough, and others) didn’t shy away from anything. He said, “Words are rungs on an emotional ladder. I've been in floods [writing this]. You can't expect an actor to cry unless you cry writing it.” We saw, through a series of flashbacks – and always at the point of the prayer of Consecration in the Mass – the insidious abuse Fr Michael had suffered as a schoolchild - the older Priest’s hand sliding up and under the hem of Bean’s short school trousers left little to the imagination – (but the programme makers didn’t feel the need to actually show what happened), and the abuse he himself had put young women and prostitutes through in his adult life.  I gather that Bean worried that he was too passive in the way he played Fr Michael – especially in the confessional scenes – but I think they were made more powerful by being underplayed. The people who came to him in there were overwhelmed by the weight of their sin and he took that from them and brought God into the picture.

The series covered many of the ills in today’s society, from foodbanks to the benefits system and biased cops and mental illness – all human life was there.  When a young attractive single mum confesses her theft of hundreds of thousands of pounds to feed her gaming machine habit and tells him that she’s going to kill herself, Fr Michael invites Jesus into the conversation by lighting a candle – to show that he is present. He’s wracked with guilt over knowing what she’s going to do and breaking the seal of the confessional.  In the end – she has the last word by changing her mode of suicide. He has to intervene between an arrogant bullying devout Bible basher and a loving, caring homosexual. And we agonise with him as he remembers not answering his phone late one night to help a teenager with mental health issues – the one who is subsequently killed by the police. His struggle with his humanity and imperfection is one with which every priest will identify.

But what made this series stand out from other programmes with a priest as the central character was the honesty with which the role was portrayed. He’s the sort of priest we all want in times of trouble or hardship and he has an integrity that all priests aspire to. He isn’t perfect, he’s broken, and we can identify with that with our own brokenness. When he finally manages to get through Mass without the flashbacks we rejoice.

However. The ending was – unlike the rest of the series – unrealistic.  Fr Michael is feeling low about how the locals will react to his honesty in not answering the phone on that fatal night and each parishioner supports him by responding during Mass to the words "the body of Christ broken for you" – with the words ‘Amen, you wonderful priest’.  I tried to imagine how I might feel if that happened to me and I heard alarm bells sounding!

McGovern himself says his life could have taken a very different turn and that he did feel he was called to the priesthood at one point, “I seriously considered it... but I'd have been a terrible priest.” Sadly, we have no way of knowing – but I’m glad he decided to write so that we could have such a brilliant series as Broken.
https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Why-BBC-series-Broken-is-an-accurate-portrayal-of-priesthood

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2017, 01:07:26 AM »
Broken viewers call for Bafta for Sean Bean drama
Quote
Broken viewers have called for Sean Bean to be given a Bafta for his portrayal of a troubled Catholic priest in the TV drama.Bean starred opposite Anna Friel in Jimmy McGovern’s powerful BBC series about a priest who was abused as a child and is now trying to help a poor northern community.Can someone please …



After the final episode aired, one viewer wrote on Twitter: “Seriously, just give the BAFTA to Sean Bean NOW… Boy, he has been magnificent in this,” while another said: “Sean Bean has been immense in #Broken. Every week he has delivered a acting masterclass that’s been compelling to watch. Worthy of awards.”

Another added: “Every member of the cast and crew deserves an award for their work in this drama. This drama must get a Bafta.” while one more said: “#Broken best drama this year. If Sean Bean doesn’t get a BAFTA there’s no justice in the world.”

Yet another said: “A BAFTA is definitely heading Sean Beans way, his acting in #Broken has been outstanding, there’s SO much emotion in his performance.”

Bean’s co-star Friel heaped praise on the show, writing: “Just watched last episode of #BROKEN. Jimmy, Sean, mark, Ashley and Joel, everybody. Made me cry from beginning to end. Your talents amaze!”

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2017, 04:38:10 AM »
Broken - Flawless depiction of a good priest
Quote
I was bracing myself for the final episode of Broken on BBC1 last night. But Jimmy McGovern’s pitch perfect writing and Sean Bean’s hypnotic, understated performance as Fr Michael Kerrigan did not disappoint. This drama portrays one of those many good priests, who has really taken to heart the advice of Pope Francis to bring the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, to stay close to the marginalised and to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.”

We are used to seeing clergy depicted performing their sacramental roles. But the huge amount of pastoral work the average Catholic priest does often goes unrecognised - the visits to the housebound, those in prison or in hospital, accompanying people in times of crisis. All those deaths, weddings, baptisms and funerals. All those problems. All that listening! This series has gone behind the scenes for what feels like a very authentic portrayal of life in a run down north country parish.

The plotline each week has been very tense and dark - but at the most difficult moments Fr Michael often pauses to light a candle - “to remind us that God is with us here” he says. Fr Michael is always the priest, not a social worker.

The series also shows something else we forget - our priests have private lives. They may not be married but they have siblings and aging parents that also need looking after. We see Fr Michael on his day off visiting his terminally-ill mother - week after week. His sister helps out but his brothers, who stopped going to church years ago aren’t much use.

Fr Michael is not shown as some insipid saint. He is also struggling with memories of very brutal childhood experiences at the hands of a predatory older priest and has a rough past. How does he come to terms with this? Watch the series.

There’s a beautiful scene in the first episode when Fr Michael recalls how he begins to rediscover his faith during a walk on the moors when he saw a falcon returning.

The series touches on many controversial issues - some episodes reminiscent of Ken Loach’s I Daniel Blake - although McGovern said he had no political intentions when he wrote the script. In an interview he said: “It’s about broken humanity. The idea that you’re at your strongest when you’re at your weakest.”

There’s a strong Eucharistic message throughout - with the community of broken people brought together as they hear the words 'This is My Body broken for You…' and line up to receive Holy Communion.

I hope Broken is watched and discussed in seminaries. I think it would also be useful with RCIA and other discussion groups.

Jimmy McGovern and Sean Bean deserve BAFTAs for this superb series. So does Anna Friel with Aisling Loftus and the rest of the cast.

Catch it on iplayer if you missed it.
http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/32931

Offline Rebecca

  • First Acolyte
  • Sharpe's Siren
  • *
  • Posts: 1819
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2017, 07:40:08 AM »
Glad to see a review from a Catholic source. I can't work out why this is not generating more discussion in the Catholic blogosphere.

Offline patch

  • News Hound
  • Ulric's Lady
  • *
  • Posts: 18181
Re: "Broken" Reviews
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2017, 01:43:29 AM »

Quote
Broken, which ended its too-short run just as we were all beginning to fall a little bit in love with it, has brought a uniqueness to British TV this year in somehow managing to be both Kafkaesque and Capraesque. The former, in its portrayal of the savage non-choices daily facing the poor – the chronicling of such Sisyphean travails writer Jimmy McGovern has dedicated much of his life to – in tandem with the spirited evisceration of every political mindset that can ever judge, with squirrely impossibility, that the poor are poor because they’re taking all our money.
The latter, the Frank Capra element, arrived at the very end of last week’s closer, as the parishioners queued to essentially absolve Father Michael of his sins, such as they ever were. I defy anyone not to have simultaneously smiled and blinked back tears during the last five minutes, and it was shamelessly, undeniably, a long shiver of feel-good – but McGovern has never exactly subscribed to the Ken Loach school, preferring instead to pepper his agitprop with warmth, wit and very human seasoning.

Sean Bean, in what some are calling the performance of his life, showed that he can turn his once chiselled chops from mournful beleaguered action hero to mournful beleaguered magi. That’s not meant to diminish him: the jowly new plains of his face spoke volumes, mainly when he wasn’t doing any actual speaking himself, about conflicted men, and trying to do not just the right thing but for the right reason. Inter alia his character proved, by example, how religion can be a force for everyday good in society – not so much with the ecumenical niceties or the sweeping blandness, but simply by lifting a Hoover, pulling on the Marigolds, sliding someone an urgent fag, or taking a not even remotely metaphorical sledgehammer to the money-changers – a little over the top here but still, my, how we cheered. And we got a great cameo from Phil Davis as the tawdry slots boss, veering between wheedling reason and skull-beneath-the-skin anger. In fact the supporting cast, notably Anna Friel and Muna Otaru, have lent much to this triumph. Even the supporting music: Nina Simone’s bittersweet reworking of Randy Newman’s I Think It’s Going to Rain Today might have to become the theme song of 2017.
 
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/09/the-week-in-tv-broken-betrayed-girls-windsors#img-1