Get rid of hype. A Cailin CiúinWriter and director Colm Baird’s classic adaptation of the Claire Keegan story foster, marks a triumphant success for Irish-language films. We saw it coming.
Tom Sullivan gets the ball rolling with last year’s internationally acclaimed, award-winning famine epic, Aracht, FoskadhSean Breathnach’s recent rural drama, As Giles, picked up some of the year’s best reviews. A Cailin Ciúin Seals the deal.
As confirmed by its proud producer Cliona née Churlao when it took home the Best Film award at this year’s IFTAs – where it took home a further six trophies – it is “a pivotal moment for Irish language cinema”. Actually.
Supported by TG4, Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Cine4 initiative (a qualified funding scheme ensuring the annual development and production of dramatic Irish language projects), this delicate, in-depth performance is the recipient of a prestigious Grand Prix Jury Prize Was also. Berlin International Film Festival this year. Could Baird’s film go supernova? We certainly hope so.
The story is set in rural Ireland in 1981. The quintessential Katherine is Clinch Cat, a calm, attentive nine-year-old whose exhausted mother (Kate’s Nick Choonaugh) is expecting yet another baby. The house is already full of mean, obnoxious siblings. Mother is tired. Dad (Michael Patrick) is a bit of a burden, a clumsy hoax and a huge waste of space who drinks and gambles on whatever money he earns.
Life for Kat is utterly joyless and unbearably empty and, as school breaks for the summer, the child’s parents decide that her presence is no longer needed and that the girl is given to her mother’s cousin Eblin. (a better Carrie Crowley) is sent to live with.
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The thing is, Cat has never met Aiblin before. She and her husband Sean (Andrew Bennett) have no children and – judging by Kat’s face – our intense protagonist worries that life in an isolated home under different guardians may add more to the same old brand of misery and neglect. will bring. As summer casts its sweet, dream-like spell on their home, however, Kat discovers a new lease of life in this caring, serene retreat.
The kind, warm-hearted eblin forms an immediate bond with Cat, allaying her fears and anxieties with appropriate care and interaction. Even Sean – a different farmer, and a man of few words – comes out of his shell.
The pair are killed along with Kat, and Eiblin assures the girl that it is a safe place, that she is free to live her life as a child and that there are no secrets in their home. But Eblin and Sean are hiding a sad secret of their own, and it won’t take long for Kat to uncover it.
a dull, lyrical piece, A Cailin Ciúin Has a simple, straightforward story, but it tells it beautifully, takes its time and lets its cast into its characters in a way we don’t often see in Irish cinema.
Too many domestic features give way to endless streams of intermittent, onstage dialogue and breathless overacting. It doesn’t, and Baird’s extravagant, slow-burn performance does the talking only when it needs to.
The result is a soulful, life-affirming drama of rare quality and depth. It is a rich, heartwarming depiction of the loneliness, loss and longing experienced through the eyes of a wise and intelligent child.
Newcomer Clinch – the heart-wrenching, throbbing heart of this story – delivers a display of such startling strength and conviction you’d never know it was his first screen role. Kat is in practically every scene, and Barred’s film requires a capable and commanding lead to keep everyone and, really, everything in place. Clinch is that actor.
Bennett, meanwhile, is brilliant as a man whose work day is vastly improved by the presence of a playful assistant. He and Clinch make a wonderful pair. Likewise, Crowley is extraordinary, and together this brilliant trio brings to life a remarkable story about childhood, family, and grief.
Beautifully photographed by Kate McCullough, with an excellent score by Stephen Rainix A Cailin Ciúin Hit me in ways I didn’t expect.
It took the wind out of me. It made me shed tears and stayed with me for many days. It’s one of the silliest, most successful coming-of-age dramas I’ve ever seen—a flawless, brilliantly assembled offering that’s worthy of everything that comes its way.
An exceptional Irish film.
IFI and selected cinema halls; certificate 16
Gaspar Noé has never been the one to give us a smooth ride. through movies like immutable (2002), Love (2015), and Flourishing (2018), this post-apocalyptic horror of French cinema has put us through hyperviolence, explicit sexual act, and psychological dread. in CycloneNoe takes us into another unsettling realm of human existence – old age.
Using split screen, we are shown the final days of writer Louis (real-life Italian film director Dario Argento) and psychotherapist Elle (François Lebrun), a couple in the winter of their lives. In a homely but chaotic apartment that reflects the entire life they’ve lived with, they are negotiating Elle’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
Louis, who is managing a deteriorating heart condition, and his recovering addict son (Alex Lutz) do what they can but have their own battles. A real sense of inevitability develops when looking at their stage in life, along with questions about love, loyalty, and being “slaved” by the drug.
Cyclone Devastating to watch, but bedridden in the excitement and seemingly mundane, Noe captures the tragically regular nature of the “departure lounge”. Hillary White
in select cinemas; certificate 15
Between the endemic atrocities perpetrated against First Nation people and the scorched, treacherous landscape, colonial-era Australia is a dark historical period to portray on film. This feature debut — written and directed by, as well as starring, Aboriginal artist Leah Purcell — taps into that spirit of dread as it tells a kind of feminist revenge western.
Purcell plays Molly Johnson, who is abandoned by her husband to care for their four children in the remote Australian Alps. Life is tough, but so is gun-wielding Molly, who fiercely defends her small holding. When a tribal runaway (Rob Collins) comes looking for shelter, she sympathizes and turns to him for help.
This will add further complications to Molly’s already challenging existence, chief among them the attention of a new local law enforcer (Sam Reid) who is trying to make a name for himself.
Apart from the committed performances and stunning visuals, Purcell’s film is full of tension, beauty and pathos. Tonight, however, it often goes awry. A big culprit here is Salliana Seven Campbell’s overly copious score, which can take any power out of a scene. Hillary White
in cinemas; Certificate 15A
File this under “Better than expected.” In fact, one of the strangest things about this structurally disorganized, faith-based drama is that, even at its worst, Father Stu It remains a surprisingly tolerable effort.
It’s the early 1990s, and Mark Wahlberg is Stuart Long, Montana’s past-his-prime boxer. Worried mother Kathleen (the always dependable Jackie Weaver) wants her to quit. Drunken father Bill (a solid Mel Gibson) is scorched.
Obviously, mom knows best and, after hanging up her gloves, Stuart heads west to become a Hollywood superstar (don’t ask). As it turns out, life – and indeed God – has other ideas for Chap and, after meeting a Sunday school teacher named Carmen (Teresa Ruiz), and surviving a horrific road accident, our The wise-cracking pugilist decided to become a priest.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, and writer/director Rosalind Ross’s sketchy, unfocused drama — based on a fascinating true story — probably bites off more than it can chew. Still, it never gets boring, and a watchable marquee mark adds a nice comedic touch to the proceedings. In a word? Magnificent. Chris Wasser