With St.Patrick’s Day fast approaching I thought it only appropriate to gather some of the best films from, or about, Ireland that Netflix has to offer.
Frank – dir. Lenny Abrahamson
Not a Frank Sidebottom biopic sadly but enjoyable nonetheless. Abrahamson’s film looks at the creative process of a certain set of eccentric musicians, including a masked Michael Fasbender, and their high and lows through the eyes of Jon (Domhnall Gleeson, in a difficult role) who joins the group and wants to make them more well known.
Some moments dragged a bit for me, but the film bravely goes to some unexpected places and balances melancholy and humour quite well – and it does all lead up to a quite profound ending.
Grabbers – dir. Jon Wright
High concept sci-fi comedy, Aliens attack a small Irish village but guess what? That’s right, they’re resistent to alcohol, so the village must remain intoxicated to stay safe.
What could be horrendously misplayed and misjudged is actually a fun tight little film. Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley are great in the leads and the special effects are excellent as far as I can remember. It’s fun basically, so enjoy it.
Life’s A Breeze – dir. Lance Daly
Kelly Thornton shines in her debut film role as Emma who’s told to visit her Nan (Fionnula Flanagan) more often. One day she’s asked to distract her Nan while the family clean up her house as a surprise and begins to bond with her, only problem is Nan’s live savings were in the old mattress they’ve just thrown out. While her family don’t believe her initially, soon they set out to find her missing fortune.
Pat Shortt is solid as the stay at home son and some of the broader comedy works some of the time, not always, and some parts are fairly far fetched but it’s the quieter moments between Nan and Emma that make the film worth checking out.
Gold – dir. Niall Heery
The always watchable David Wilmot (him again) plays Ray, a man with issues who returns to his old stomping ground when he gets word his Dad is on his deathbed. While back, he decides to check in on his estranged ex-wife (Kerry Condon) and daughter (Maisie Williams) which of course leads to complications, they’ve moved on and his ex wife is married to the daughter’s self important track and field instructor played with dollops of charm by James Nesbitt.
The film is very low key and all the better for it, while some parts grate and Maisie Williams’ accent was a bit inconsistent at times, they’re petty complaints really when overall, the film’s a charmer. It reminds me a bit of Shane Meadow’s more easy going efforts, whether the director will find that a compliment or not I don’t know, but it’s meant as one.
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