Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Another weird movie from the guy that brought us The Lobster. It’s so weird, it’s cool. It unsettling. It’s funny. It’s thrilling at times. It’s a visual treat. The story is again not that strong. (A heart specialist gets jinxed by the kid of a former, deceased patient of his. Now his family has to suffer as well.) But that doesn’t matter. It has a very remarkable opening shot. Go see it. It’s creepy. It sets the tone right. This is Francois Ozon meets Michael Haneke meets Ulrich Seidl. Colin Farell is great at these kind of roles. He’s really the only actor you can imagine playing this part. Nicole Kidman is also doing well. Even though she does all kinds of things you don’t want her to do really. (Get naked, play dead, smoke, hit children,…) There’s that scene where she jerks off a guy to get information. She does it so well. It makes you wonder whatever she did with Harvey Weinstein to get where she is now. Nevertheless. Great acting. Raffey Cassidy is one to watch out for as well. And that Barry Keogh kid kills it! Just go see it and then feel like WTF.

Brooklyn – **

Posted: March 16, 2016 in 2015, Canada, Costume Drama, Ireland, Romance, UK, XX

Brooklyn is a fine movie about a young Irish girl who leaves her country to find work in the US. She has trouble adapting at first, but then encounters a young Italian plumber who she falls in love with and marries in secret. When her sister dies unexpectedly, she returns home, where she feels the pressure and opportunity to stay. She keeps her marriage in New York a secret and goes on several dates with a rich Irish bachelor.

The movie is based on a succesfull novel, which scored well with a female audience. It’s a romantic coming of age tale with a tiny bit of adventure and a heroin in doubt about what’s best for her future. Success guaranteed. The story isn’t really boring, but it’s very trivial. There is little drama and little humor, but hardly any dull moments either.

The main reason to watch this movie is the performance of Saoirse Ronan, who shines in every single scene. A joy to watch. Yeah, that’s basically the only reason.


The Lobster – **

Posted: January 12, 2016 in 2015, Comedy, France, Greece, Ireland, Satire, UK, XX

Weird is the new cool.

The Lobster is so absurd that it’s also really entertaining.

A man becomes single and needs to register in a hotel a bit outside of the city near a forest. He has a certain amount of days to find a partner and if he doesn’t find the right match he will be transformed into an animal of his own choice. Every now and then the hotel guests have to go into the forest to should down ‘loners’, humans who preferred to live as outcasts. It’s a community on its own, where any kind of romance is forbidden.

It’s not that difficult. It’s a fantasy tale in which you only have three choices: be in the perfect relationship and live in the city, live a loveless life as a loner in the forest, or become an animal when you die.

Colin Farrell is excellent as the main lead. And some scenes, jokes and one-liners are instant cult classic. But the story is just a great idea and doesn’t really tell anything at all.

Breakfast On Pluto

Posted: February 3, 2013 in 2005, Drama, Ireland, LGBT themed

Movie night at the owners of the airbnb I’m staying at. Amongst the many (more intriguing) art house movies on their shelves, Breakfast On Pluto was picked. We all fell asleep near the end.

An orphan grows up in Ireland, but leaves for London when he’s an adult. The small town in which he was raised isn’t ready to accept him who he is: a man trapped in a transvestite body!  And he might meet his natural mother in the big city. This happens in the seventies when glamrock is successful and when the IRA is a threat to society.

It’s not that the movie is boring. The dialogue is witty and the directing is fine. The glamrock and IRA parts were interesting. But I couldn’t relate or empathize at all with the crazy cross dressing main character.


The Guard – *

Posted: April 25, 2012 in 2011, Comedy, Crime/Detective, Ireland, X

A few years ago In Bruges surprised audiences around the world. Martin McDonagh delivered a visually interesting pitch dark comedy crime movie with one famous actor (Colin Farrell) and a great side kick (Brendan Gleeson) set in a unique location (Bruges). The same ingredients can be found in The Guard, written and directed by Martin’s brother John Michael. But this time around the movie fails on all levels. I didn’t find the humor funny at all. It wasn’t even dark, let alone pitch dark. The famous actor this time is Don Cheadle who has a very minor role and acts like he wanted to just say his lines and get back to the states as soon as possible. Brendan Gleeson plays the main character this time (and he does it very well – truth be told). But the location can’t rival Bruges at all: a boring coastal village somewhere in Ireland.

The movie got five stars in Empire Magazine!!!!! And received rave reviews all over the (English-speaking) world. But it just didn’t appeal to me at all. On the contrary even. I hate watching movies in which I think I could have done a better job. I’m not an actor, not a producer, not a director, not a script writer. So watching a movie should make me feel in awe of what I see. This movie has two great actors, a great set up and the right atmosphere for a cool independent comedy. But it just doesn’t deliver.

Sometimes I wonder what film students learn in film school. I mean, I haven’t done any film school at all, but I know that constantly swapping between images when you hear two people have a conversation is NOT DONE. It happens several times here. I don’t understand  how someone who sees the final product doesn’t say: this is not working. You can use split screens! You can have the two people sit next to each other so you have them in one screen. You don’t actually need to switch to an image of the character that’s replying. You can have his voice be heard and film the recipients reaction. There are so many ways to make a conversation between two people interesting. That annoyed me a lot in this movie.

Sure it’s a low-budget production. And I don’t care that when people shoot at each other it looks like they rehearsed it once and then improvised in front of the camera, which only recorded one take. Hey, it’s nice to see people die at the first shot for a change. BUT why do you spend so much money on getting Don Cheadle on board to have him do absolutely nothing. He’s not important in the movie. The star of the movie is Brendan Gleeson. They could have just used any other unknown actor for Cheadle’s part. The main reason why I wanted to see the movie was to see the funny collaboration between an unconventional Irish village cop and a clever black FBI officer. Some of these cop buddy movies can be quite fun. But it just doesn’t bring any humor in the movie. Unless you find the simple racist remarks funny. “I thought black people couldn’t ski. Or was it swimming?”. “I didn’t know there were drug dealers that weren’t black”. etc; etc. etc. Boring. Not even politically incorrect funny.

What is it all about? a village cop needs to team up with a FBI agent to intercept a drug transfer that will take place off the Irish shore. Hey, maybe you guys will like it. I didn’t it.