Picks and Pans Review: Judgment
HBO (Sat., Oct. 13, 9 P.M. ET)
If you can’t fight city hall, what chance do you have against the Vatican?
Keith Carradine and Blythe Danner star as a devout Louisiana couple who discover to their horror that the parish priest has sexually molested their son (Michael Faustino). When they attempt to pursue the matter, they are stonewalled by the ecclesiastical bureaucracy of the Catholic Church.
The film, based on an actual case, is disturbing more for its subject matter than for its obvious, overwrought presentation. It is stocked with good performances, though. While Danner drifts out of character occasionally, David Strathaim is excellent as the deviant priest, as is Bob Gunton as the diocese hatchet man. A late arrival, Jack Warden in Burl Ives whiskers, steals the show in what amounts to a cameo as a sly Southern lawyer.