Category: Film

Mother-to-be rocked by fiancé’s arrest

 (15A)   Anyone who saw Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight would have been impressed by the quiet charm Trevante Rhodes  brought to the role of the character  called Chiron. (As you may remember, three actors played him  in various stages of his life). Stephan James reminded me a lot of him as Alonzo in Jenkins’ latest opus.…

Ebony-ivory bonding in the segregated south

(PG)   Dull would he be of soul who could fail to warm to the black and white communion of Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali)  and Tony Lip (Viggo Mortenson) in this feelgood road movie. As a treatise on racism, though, it’s hackneyed. Likewise as a buddy-buddy feature, the tropes are overly familiar. I didn’t admire…

Surprise hits, tired conventions – another film year to remember

Satires, rom-coms, sitcoms, documentaries, cartoons, blockbusters, art movies, actioners, screwball comedies, retro noir dramas, earnest social issue statements, experimental failures and sleeper successes…the year was the usual mixed bag of surprise hits and tired conventions. Two papal films were released: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word and John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea…

Orphan bonds with alcoholic in tragicomic mish-mash

 the Whale
 (15A)   He dresses like a homeless person. He grunts as if he’s just climbed a mountain. His face bears the scars of 101 bad dawns. Yes, it’s Pat Shortt giving us the flipside of his comic persona in yet another of those down-at-heel roles that have become disarmingly familiar for him in recent years.…

Prodigal daughter returns to world that spurned her

 (15A) Head Orthodox rabbi Rav Krushka (Anton Lesser) stands on the altar of his London synagogue speaking about “the beasts of the flesh”. Then he collapses and dies. His estranged daughter Ronit (Rachel Weisz), a photographer living in New York, is informed of the news by her friend Esti (Rachel McAdams). She had an affair…

Entrancing portrait of exemplary sporting ambassador

 (12A) Why does the woman who put Irish boxing on the international map receive relatively little attention from the media? Is it because she doesn’t disgrace herself enough in public like Conor McGregor? Or, more ominously, because she tends to mention the dreaded ‘G’ word, i.e. God – society’s latest taboo  – in interviews? Imagine…

Pope portrayed as catalyst for end of violence

(12A)   Did the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II to our shores eventually impact on the Good Friday Agreement that saw “the force of argument”, as this fascinating documentary puts it, replacing “the argument of force”? Or as Seamus Heaney said, helped “hope and history rhyme”? It frames his visit in the context…