Tom Sullivan’s evocative Irish language drama Arracht (12A) – the literal translation of the word is ‘monster’ – like Lance Daly’s Black ‘47 of a few years ago, has English subtitles. They may throw some people but it’s primarily a visual experience so they don’t over-intrude.
Set in 1845 on the eve of the Famine, it tells the story of a Connemara fisherman, Colmán Sharkey (Dónall O Healai) and his wife Maggie (Elaine O’Dwyer) and their struggles against The Great Hunger.
It starts with them taking a British soldier, Patsy (Dara Devaney), into their house at the urging of a priest, Fr Joachin (Paraic Breathnach). They plead with their landlord (Michael McElhatton) to ‘freeze’ the rent when the blight strikes but he refuses. An abandoned orphan, Kitty (Saise Ni Chuinn) now enters their lives, causing the film to move into a different key.
For many people Mary Quant was as synonymous with the sixties in London as Julie Christie and the Fab Four. In the biopic Quant (12A), people like Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood and others testify to her iconic status as a fashion designer.
In True Calling (PG) a British government minister (David Smith) who used to be a singer in a Christian rock band travels to the town where he grew up to visit his childhood sweetheart. It’s a complicated film with a fuzzy attitude to issues like climate change and global warming.
Ron’s Gone Wrong (PG) is an animated film about a socially awkward character called Barney and his digitally connected device, Ron. When Ron malfunctions, their friendship is tested to the limits.
Boss Baby 2: Family Business (G) is another animated feature, a sequel to a 2017 film about a seven-year-old boy who was threatened by his infant brother who acted – and dressed – like Richard Branson. They combined forces in that film to save Puppy plc. Four years later a new Boss Baby is creating different kinds of problems.
Rock enthusiasts will enjoy Tom Petty: Somewhere You Feel Free (12A) a documentary about the background to the making of Petty’s 1994 album Wildflowers. His daughter Adria discovered the footage that became the film’s embryology after the singer’s untimely death in 2017.
Dear Evan Hansen (12A) is a more unusual musical. It concerns a high school student with an anxiety disorder. He struggles with his problem after the suicide of a classmate for which he blames himself.
For those of you with more esoteric tastes, Dune (12A) is a science fiction story about a young man who travels to a dangerous planet to protect his family against malevolent forces.
On the IFI Player you can see Blarney, a whimsical Jimmy O’Dea film. He plays a character having trouble with a Garda (Noel Purcell) along the border.
Breaking Out (12A), finally, is a film about the Cork-born singer-songwriter Fergus O’Farrell who developed muscular dystrophy at a young age but still kept singing. His is a story of a truly indomitable spirit.