The King Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, William Hurt, Pell James, Paul Dano Director: James Marsh The film: British documentary filmmaker James Marsh - with the help of screenwriter Milo Addica (Monster's Ball) - opens up America's heartland in The King, taking aim at both society and the Christianity which pumps its lifeblood. It's a brave move in the current political climate, and goes some way towards explaining the trouble he had getting the film made, and screened (it eventually made it to Cannes as part of the Un Certain Regard section). It comes full of biblical allegories but, cleverly, never pushes the boundaries of believability - or good taste - to the extent that it would cause an uproar. Gael Garcia Bernal (right with Pell James) plays a sailor who, on discharge from the navy, heads off in search of the father he has never known. That would be William Hurt, who has put a shady past behind him and is now a prominent preacher with a new family. At first, he wants nothing to do with his son - and the lad goes about sneaking his way into the man's life. You won't really want to know how, going into the film, so let's just say it's in some pretty shocking ways, involving the man's young daughter, first, and then his son. Circumstances then force the preacher to forgive, but to exactly what extent these levels of forgiveness are pushed increase dramatically as the film unfolds. Bernal's choir-boy looks are played off perfectly against his much darker soul. So much so that you almost feel for his wicked plight. Well, almost. And Hurt's low-key delivery establishes the preacher as a very real human being, constantly trying to make things right in a world full of wrongs. The film inveigles its way into your head with its slow, almost sedate atmosphere. And the twists and turns creep up on you. It leaves you wondering just how far a man's faith will take him. Or where it will leave him if he resolutely follows the path he has chosen. The extras: The director and co-writer pull no punches in their commentary, pointing fingers at actors they didn't like working with and generally bemoaning the deadly shooting schedule they were forced to endure - up to 11 scenes were shot each day, they say - due to budget constraints and studio demands. Sadly, they offer few insights into what they meant to say through the film, alternating as they do between praise for each other's work and complaints about almost everyone else. It's a hard slog. The extras also include deleted scenes and a rehearsal for a pivotal scene between Bernal and Paul Dano. The verdict: It's thought-provoking and disturbing in equal measures. The type of film that lingers in your mind - and not necessarily for the best of reasons.