Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Our Favorite Irish Movies

In honor of that Roman British guy who was kidnapped by Irish pirates, let's celebrate some Irish culture! So without further ado, here are our favorite Irish movies, in honor of St. Patrick's Day:

Waking Ned Devine has been our family's favorite comedy for ages. It stars the great Irish actor David Kelly, and the great Scottish actor Ian Bannen, as Michael and Jackie - a pair of rambunctious 70-year-olds. When their friend Ned wins the lottery and dies from the shock of it, the two hatch a plan (based on what Jackie is certain Ned would have wished) to claim the winnings. Featuring a splendid soundtrack and the glorious, evocative (though not Irish) visuals of the Isle of Man, this is a splendid light comedy.

The Secret of Roan Inish is about family history and family legends - and where they intersect. When young Fiona (Jeni Courtney) is sent to live with her grandparents by the ocean, they tell her all manner of stories about when they used to live on the isle of Roan Inish. From the strange disappearance of Fiona's infant brother, Jamie, to the selkies that swarm along the shore, the island represents a solid symbol of Ireland's mystic past - a past that Fiona must explore if she wishes to solve the more tangible problems of the present.

Grittier than the other two, Into the West is a sort of urban fantasy, knitting together both the whimsical myth and the harsh reality of Ireland's history. Two young boys, Ossie and Tito, live with their burnt-out father (Gabriel Byrne). They are haunted by their past - before their mother died they were travellers - gypsies in caravans who traveled from place to place in the wild hills of Ireland. Now they live in a gray inner-city apartment. Hope is born in the shape of a luminous horse named Tír na nÓg, who serves as a way for them to reconnect with a lost world and a way of life that is passing away.

Hannah Long


  1. Replies
    1. I'm not generally a huge John Wayne fan, but either way, I haven't seen The Quiet Man. Is it any good?

    2. Yes, it's wonderful. Well, I think so anyway. Wayne plays opposite Maureen O'Hara, and they have fantastic chemistry. The premise is that a retired boxer is coming home to the little Irish village where he grew up to settle down and forget his troubled past. When he promptly falls in love with the village redhead, they promptly run up against the cultural gap between them. Together, they must put aside their pride, align their priorities, and salvage their marriage. It concludes with my favorite fist-fight on film.

      The cast of colorful characters include a Catholic priest, an Anglican vicar, a wise-cracking Merry and Pippin-ish pair, a little man who's very fond of his whiskey (played by Barry Fitzgerald), and of course, The Woman, plus her not-so-nice brother (played by Victor MacLachlan). The director is John Ford. Also starring the gobsmackingly gorgeous Irish landscape.

      I can't really find a trailer that I like, but here's a pub scene shortly after his arrival that sets the tone pretty well:



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