Irish movies :: at home in Ireland

16 October 2013

There are two kinds of Irish movies. The kind Americans love and the somewhat realistic kind. Leap Year falls into the former category. Once in the latter. It's like any movie filmed in a city/state/country you know well. Location discrepancies or flubbed accents can detract from an otherwise well-told story. And while I'm no expert, Gerard Butler's accent in P.S. I Love You is a prime example (or Julia Roberts in Michael Collins or Tom Cruise in Far and Away... you get the idea).

I hesitate to even list my favourite Irish films - pronounced fil-ims - as I'm sure there are some unrealistic aspects to them, but for the benefit of my massive world-wide audience (amiright?!), here's my top five:

1) Once. Obviously. The intimacy of music mixed with love.
2) The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Brutal, epic, disturbing, beautiful.
3) In America. Heartbreaking, yet redemptive and hopeful.
4) Veronica Guerin. The acting is equal parts stunning and scary.
5) The Secret of Kells. Gorgeously animated.
Honorable mentions: Michael Collins and Waking Ned Divine.

Of course, there's a bucket-load of Irish movies I need to see but somehow haven't:

1) The Guard
2) My Left Foot
3) The Commitments (there is no excuse for me not having seen this yet)
4) Ondine
5) In the Name of the Father

Irish films are just, well, I think they're just brilliant. Maybe I'm biased, but there's something so nuanced and haunting about the stories they tell. I finish nearly every film with an ache in my chest that's hard to describe.

For these 31 days I'm writing about making our home in Ireland. At times, this involves a lot of movie watching. I tell myself it's good cultural research. Do you have a favourite Irish film? Or one that was made in your own city or region? 

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