Category: Film

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…

Spouse’s creative influence too close for comfort

(15A)   Glenn Close has been labouring away in the Hollywood vineyard for many moons now without too much to show for it. She’s been a bridesmaid at the annual Oscar ceremonies so often, ‘Close’ isn’t just her surname – it’s more like a career description. Some poor editorial decisions haven’t helped. In Fatal Attraction,…