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By the Grace of God

Released Oct 18, 2019 2h 17m Drama TRAILER for By the Grace of God: Trailer 1 List
96% Tomatometer 97 Reviews 72% Audience Score 100+ Ratings
Three childhood friends question their lives. Read More Read Less
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By the Grace of God

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By the Grace of God

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Patient in its approach yet stirring in its conviction, By the Grace of God draws soberly gripping cinema from real-life horror.

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Critics Reviews

View All (97) Critics Reviews
David Stratton The Australian Beautifully acted and deeply impressive, By the Grace of God is suffused with a simmering anger. Rated: 4/5 Dec 3, 2019 Full Review Sandra Hall Sydney Morning Herald Ozon was wise to translate the story into fiction. In their rawness and their sense of intimacy, the family scenes ferret out the emotional truths behind the bald and bitter facts. Rated: 4/5 Nov 26, 2019 Full Review Scott Marks San Diego Reader One is prone to expect excess in a film by François Ozon, [but he] wisely opts to frame the fact-based events as a straightforward crime drama. Rated: 3/5 Nov 19, 2019 Full Review Brian T. Carney Washington Blade A clear-eyed and piercing denunciation of clerical abuse in the French Catholic Church by queer auteur François Ozon. Dec 7, 2022 Full Review Cris Kennedy The Canberra Times (Australia) Ozon's film is only lightly fictionalised, based on his thorough research, and transcripts. His writing and his direction are full of empathy, tied to these characters. Rated: 4/5 Aug 12, 2022 Full Review Matthew St. Clair Cinema Sentries It works quite effectively even if it spells out its various conflicts in an expositional manner. Sep 23, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member A predatory priest isolates and sexually abuses young boys who are put into his care — unfortunately, somehow, we've seen it 1,000 times before. In By the Grace of God, we're transported approximately 30 years into the future — depending on which character we are following — where a victim (Melvil Poupaud), now in his late-30s/early 40s, decides it's time to speak out after the harrowing realization that his abuser, Father Preynat (Bernard Verley) is not only still working with children, but has faced basically zero consequences for his crimes. It's 137-minute run-time is due to the fact that the plot does not just follow Alexandre (Poupaud) and his struggles receiving any accountability from the Church — personified through Cardinal Barbarin (Francois Marthouret) — but that it also opens up the stories behind two more victims: Francois (Denis Ménochet) and Emmanuel (Swann Arlaud). All three victims have taken various paths in life and have faced various effects of their abuse — Emmanuel is the only one who has a physical defect in the form of a crooked penis from the way Preynat would assault him, which he continued to do to himself through puberty, as he figured that was the proper technique for masturbation. The victims — and their larger network — are not monomaniacal in their approach either and have various perceptions of the Church. Alexandre, the catalyst, is very much the picture-book family man who still regularly attends Mass with his own young boys. Francois, on the other hand, is a rabid Atheist. The confrontation scenes between victim and abuser — one coming much earlier than I expected — are not shocking or tearjerkers. In fact, Emmanuel's scene with Preynat was abrupt, almost casual, as they sat only a few feet adjacent to each other in the presence of a detective. The most jarring moment comes early, when Preynat has the gall to state, "I'm the victim here". How Alexandre doesn't leap across the table and strangle the old man, I can't comprehend. Based on true events, the victims and larger advocacy network not only brought attention to the Church's cover-up, potentially saving future victims, but successfully made changes to the law itself, specifically, the hindering Statute of Limitations. This is a movie more about organizing, strategy, and highlighting the lingering impact of childhood abuse instead of a courtroom drama or network of cover-ups. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member Tema sempre spinoso, ma abbastanza sdoganato negli anni successivi al quel capolavoro di Spotlight che ha aperto la strada. Il resoconto è ripreso in ogni minimo dettaglio nonostante il lungo arco temporale, spesso ci si ritrova ad ascoltare un narratore che legge mail e scambi di posta, notizie e comunicati. A tratti leggermente avaro di eventi significativi, il regista Ozon è abile a sviluppare la trama cambiando protagonista, riuscendo così a mescolare storie diverse e caratteri agli antipodi, dando modo inoltre di sviluppare personalità e reazioni diverse legate ai fatti accaduti. La scelta di non operare colpi di scena ai fini dello spettacolo, offre una visione lucida e precisa di ciò che è realmente accaduto, facendo forse mancare qualcosa in termini di emozioni. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/12/23 Full Review Audience Member Fascinating look at the complexity of trauma and justice/reparations for victims of sex abuse by the Catholic Church. Specific characters are fictional but this has certainly happened. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 04/11/21 Full Review Audience Member Scenes involving victim-offender mediation are undoubtedly chilling, however the real success in the film lies in the ability to go beyond the question of "is it time for serious reform in the Catholic Church" to instead begin to explore whether that reform will be led by those on the inside or the outside Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member Tight weaving of stories that tells this extraordinary true tale. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/21/20 Full Review Audience Member Totally unnecessary movie that misses the point entirely. What were they thinking making this thing? Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
By the Grace of God

My Rating


Cast & Crew

Genesis 89% 47% Genesis 3 Storeys 64% 40% 3 Storeys You Resemble Me 93% 85% You Resemble Me TRAILER for You Resemble Me Fourteen 98% 54% Fourteen Qissa Panjab 86% 74% Qissa Panjab Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Three childhood friends question their lives.
François Ozon
Éric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer
François Ozon
Music Box Films
Production Co
Scope Pictures, Playtime Production, Mandarin Films, Mars Films, FOZ, France 2 Cinéma
Original Language
French (France)
Release Date (Theaters)
Oct 18, 2019, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Feb 18, 2020
Box Office (Gross USA)
2h 17m
Aspect Ratio
Flat (1.85:1)
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