The Banshees of Inisherin

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Interrupting Christmas Eve drinking solely cos this is incredible and deserves a thread. The scenery, the portrayals of rural life and loneliness, the dialogue. I loved it and I have many thoughts but I will try and think of something more to say because I loved this a lot.

bit high, bitch (gyac), Saturday, 24 December 2022 22:50 (three months ago) link

Cool. Saw the trailer and didn’t quite know what to make of it.

A Kestrel for a Neve (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 24 December 2022 23:15 (three months ago) link

Discussed earlier on the In Bruges thread I think

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 25 December 2022 01:57 (three months ago) link

i watched this earlier this week actually and was surprised there hadn't been a thread on it.

i liked it although i wouldn't say it fully landed with me immediately upon viewing. some good lines and a to-be-expected great performance by farrell, sure, but i was having trouble figuring out the point of it all--imo it's not really much about friendship contrary to what i had been led to believe. i'll do a spoiler for the rest of this i guess:

the reading that i heard after the fact that worked for me was the idea that colm and padraic are representing two conflicting impulses in one person, specifically a creative/artistic person. that made a lot of sense to me and better explained the mutually assured destruction ending as sort of a pessimistic take on being able to find a balance between being out in the world having relationships vs. creating some sort of lasting work

call all destroyer, Sunday, 25 December 2022 03:39 (three months ago) link

I thought this movie fucking sucked. Such a weird juxtaposition of comedy with relentlessly dark subject matter and completely superficial characters. The only reason this movie is getting any attention whatsoever is that someone errantly judged it as being profound and everyone hopped on the bandwagon.

zacata, Sunday, 25 December 2022 03:55 (three months ago) link

I don't think it's "profound," but I liked it. Mostly for Farrell's performance and for the pervasive sense of isolation and smallness — of the island, its social circles and the mindsets and worldviews of the residents. The sister is the most sympathetic character by some distance, and I was glad she at least got the hell out.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 25 December 2022 04:04 (three months ago) link

Come Anticipate Martin McDonagh's 'In Bruges'

Banshees is fantastic. I can never remember which McDonagh brother is which, but this is a lot like John Michael's Calvary. The small island grudges thing reminded me of Michael Powell's Edge Of The World too.

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, October 22, 2022 8:22 PM (two months ago) bookmarkflaglink

I haven't liked a movie this guy's done but I do want to see Colin Farrell get an Oscar so ...

― Eric H., Saturday, October 22, 2022 9:27 PM (two months ago) bookmarkflaglink

― 𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, October 22, 2022 9:33 PM (two months ago) bookmarkflaglink

I liked Calvary, so that's good news to me

― feed me with your chips (zchyrs), Saturday, October 22, 2022 9:46 PM (two months ago) bookmarkflaglink

First half was a great movie about how difficult it is for men to maintain long term friendships but then it gets progressively more daft for the sake of some high drama

― Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Saturday, October 22, 2022 9:58 PM (two months ago) bookmarkflaglink

Has this been released everywhere yet? It's one of my favorites this year.

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, October 29, 2022 8:29 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

Gonna watch a preview on Wednesday.

― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, October 29, 2022 8:35 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

Saw it the other night. Pretty good I thought but I did how many people attending where thinking more 'quirky Irish comedy' than 'Martin McDonagh film'

― Ned Raggett, Saturday, October 29, 2022 8:43 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

I accept this film as a microcosm of social conflict and dysfunction during the Irish Civil War--without the English as a common enemy the Irish start attacking each other. But dang was that slog to sit through.

― Infanta Terrible (, Saturday, November 5, 2022 12:00 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

It was waaaay too nice.

― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, November 5, 2022 12:16 PM (one month ago) bookmarkflaglink

three weeks pass...
I liked Banshees, the first time McDonagh has made me think of Beckett (or think of him in terms of Beckett, anyway). Colin Farrell really is good, would be happy for him to get some awards out of it.

― a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Saturday, November 26, 2022 1:21 AM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

the farrell performance is so excellent

i never quite fell for the film but i understand why others have

― flamenco drop (BradNelson), Saturday, November 26, 2022 1:28 AM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink


― Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, November 26, 2022 1:32 AM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

I liked that the movie resisted easy resolutions — part of its point I guess. But for sure Farrell is the main reason to see it. Everyone else is good too, it’s a strong cast.

― a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Saturday, November 26, 2022 2:45 AM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

The funniest thing for me was hearing people express how boring they found some other people.

― Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, November 26, 2022 7:33 PM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

I thought it was great, want a mini donkey

― akm, Sunday, November 27, 2022 3:35 AM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

it's weird that anyone finds the 'other characters' boring, there are only a handful of them and I wouldn't have described Siobhan as boring, or Dominic, who is just tragic.

― akm, Sunday, November 27, 2022 9:44 PM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

oh wait, RAG means the characters in the movie describing other characters as dull, I misinterpreted that.

― akm, Sunday, November 27, 2022 9:45 PM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

also, I guess it's finally time to say Colin Farrel is an excellent actor; treating his good stuff as an exception these days doesn't give him the credit he deserves.

― akm, Sunday, November 27, 2022 9:46 PM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

I found this facile and predictable in the same manner as Triangle of Sadness, another one that left me cold

― “Cheeky cheeky!” she trills, nearly demolishing a roadside post (forksclovetofu), Sunday, November 27, 2022 9:57 PM (four weeks ago) bookmarkflaglink

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 25 December 2022 04:45 (three months ago) link

Quite enjoyed this last week. It is dark as fook though.
I liked the sister too. Know I've seen her somewhere else.

Stevolende, Sunday, 25 December 2022 06:25 (three months ago) link

I’m awake for no reason, it’s Christmas morning, let’s do this.

Firstly the film is very obviously allegorical to me. I’m sure everyone else got this too, there are several very blunt comparisons, but I haven’t seen it mentioned on here.

The elements of the film are very simple: a handful of characters, quite straightforward dialogue, some very clear allusions. I don’t think you can understand this film without understanding at least a little bit about the cultural context, though I think it succeeds outside that too.

Even the island’s name, Inisherin (Inis Éireann, in Irish, “The island of Ireland”) is a joke about this. You’ve got some classic elements: the priest, the banshee, the Garda. It’s a village with one pub and one church. Everything is very claustrophobic, like it is in Ireland itself; everyone knows other people’s business and who their families are. Mrs O’Riordan (the post office owner) is so small town rural Ireland, it made us laugh.

How successful an allegory is it? Well, I guess it depends on what that sets out to do within the film. There’s a few lines that dance around it, like when the Garda says about going to executions on the mainland and says something like “It’s the Free State executing the IRA…or was it the other way around?” Inisherin is interesting in the context of the war, immediately removed from it in a way that very few parts of Ireland actually were. The classic bit of civil war fiction that everyone in Ireland knows is The Sniper, which was on the national curriculum when I was at school. While the people on Inisherin view the events of the mainland as happening to other people, outside the microcosm of their island, in reality the civil war ticked most people in some way. Colm and Pádraic’s feud drags absolutely everyone into it. You can be certain everyone at Mass on a Sunday knows everything that’s happened.

I’m not certain the allegory sets out to tell us much about the war, but in any terms these are clear: it drags everyone into it, it’s brutal and hard to explain to outsiders, there are things you can never get over. Pretty straightforward. I think it works as an allegory but it’s more loosely allegorical than being constant pointed references. Given that most people watching this will not necessarily know anything about the civil war, that’s fine! (Another thing I thought was clearly directed at people from outside Ireland was everyone’s overuse of “feckin”, which I didn’t like. Absolutely nobody says it that much but it struck me as a modification to keep it from being rated higher? As I say, not one of my favourite parts, and the only one that came across as unenjoyably stage Irish.)

It’s really funny. Not like laugh out loud funny, but the humour is dark as McDonagh’s work tends to be and I loved it. Some highlights: “no other news”, the confession scenes, every single scene with Mrs McCormick including the one at the end where she’s sitting watching the lads like Death himself. (Which is what a banshee does after all.) Pádraic trying to hide behind the wall from her is great, he thinks he’s escaped her but no, Death is inescapable.

Siobhán’s clothes are colourful and stand out, the same way this “weird woman” stands out from everyone else committed to island life. I’ve loved Kerry Condon since Rome and she was so great in this? She made every scene she was in. It was good for the film as well, not just relying on standout performances from the leads, but strong throughout the cast. By the way, the publican and the fella at the bar (his echo) are Jon Kenny and Pat Shortt, a long-standing comedy duo well known in Ireland, and they had a series called Killinascully set in a rural town. It was a very different kind of humour but I’m guessing McDonagh was a fan. Anyway, I thought that was an amazing bit of casting.

Barry Keoghan was great in a difficult role: sympathetic but still comedic and heartbreaking too.

I have a lot more thoughts about this but I want to go back to sleep now.

bit high, bitch (gyac), Sunday, 25 December 2022 07:22 (three months ago) link

I'm not usually a fan of McDonagh but this actually stuck with me and I will probably re-watch at some point, probably because the humour in it is dark and awkward and quite unfunny! From the trailer I thought this might be a crowd pleasing shite Irish comedy of bucolic wrongness with lots of fecking and so on, but there is some depth here and genuine sadness and I'm always a sucker for a sad movie with a very lovable border collie character.

calzino, Sunday, 25 December 2022 09:25 (three months ago) link

Siobhán being the long suffering clever person on the island delivers the strongest mortal blow to Colm's turgid pomposity by correcting him that Mozart is from the 18th century ... actually!

calzino, Sunday, 25 December 2022 09:39 (three months ago) link

xp this was also my fear, it was absolutely not that. Was laughing at some of the comments upthread which clearly expected it to be that. And yes, that Mozart line is great.

bit high, bitch (gyac), Sunday, 25 December 2022 10:21 (three months ago) link

This was very good. My wife thought Siobhan and her eventual departure represented the "brain drain" that afflicted Ireland in the 20th century. I just finished the book We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Northern Island by Fintan O'Toole a few weeks ago and some of that was on my mind while I watched this.

Chris L, Sunday, 25 December 2022 22:44 (three months ago) link

Thanks for the added cultural context gyac. I also thought it was allegorical and took the Civil War references in that sense too — without knowing a lot of the details but understanding the through line of cycles of recrimination and contrariness. And yeah, Kerry Condon is great.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 25 December 2022 23:23 (three months ago) link

What I like about best about Colm is telling the priest in confession that we might as well all just pack up and go home if
punching a copper was a sin!

calzino, Sunday, 25 December 2022 23:56 (three months ago) link

punching out the copper was his real confession

calzino, Monday, 26 December 2022 00:01 (three months ago) link

This was very good. My wife thought Siobhan and her eventual departure represented the "brain drain" that afflicted Ireland in the 20th century. I just finished the book We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Northern Island by Fintan O'Toole a few weeks ago and some of that was on my mind while I watched this.

My dislike of Fintan O’Toole aside, there is some merit to this theory. Yeats described the country as the old sow that ate her farrow and, growing up during the boom, we were told that we were the first generation that wouldn’t need to move away.

There’s also just the internal migration aspect and some commentary on roles of women - Siobhán is sick to death of everyone on the island defining her in relation to her brother or the husband she doesn’t have. Young people in Ireland move to cities just like in every other country in the world and in such a small country we only have a few cities - Dublin has a quarter of the country’s whole population. The island has a limited economy and zero scope or interest for moving on in life- see Mrs O’Riordan opening Siobhán’s job offer letter.

bit high, bitch (gyac), Monday, 26 December 2022 00:34 (three months ago) link

Joyce, not Yeats. Point stands.

bit high, bitch (gyac), Monday, 26 December 2022 00:34 (three months ago) link

Apologies for my weird typo above (“Northern Island”).

Chris L, Monday, 26 December 2022 19:51 (three months ago) link

it’s better to be kind than interesting.

LaMDA barry-stanners (||||||||), Monday, 26 December 2022 20:29 (three months ago) link

Colm's melodies were so shit

Cinta Kaz is comin' to town (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 26 December 2022 20:32 (three months ago) link

Strongly disliked this, but the performances were largely good

عباس کیارستمی (Eric H.), Monday, 26 December 2022 21:56 (three months ago) link


why did you dislike it so much?

ian, Monday, 26 December 2022 22:56 (three months ago) link

I liked this a lot. Reminded me a bit of Three Colors: White and also of Bresson.

DPRK in Cincinnati (WmC), Monday, 26 December 2022 23:03 (three months ago) link

I didn't dislike it all -- I found it unmemorable except for Colin Farrell's double takes and his chemistry with Brendan Gleason.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 December 2022 23:05 (three months ago) link

*at all

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 26 December 2022 23:05 (three months ago) link

this is incredible and deserves a thread

I thought this movie fucking sucked.

Oh, great, now what do we do?

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Monday, 26 December 2022 23:29 (three months ago) link

and his imaginary bread van xp

Cinta Kaz is comin' to town (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 26 December 2022 23:30 (three months ago) link

i dunno, maybe i didn't dislike it so much as it disappointed me? i was hoping for more. Found the story pat, the characterizations wonderfully realized but not particularly three dimensional and the direction intrusive and showy.

I’ve enjoyed Colin Farrell in Minority Report and in In Bruges but otherwise find myself allergic to him… haven’t made it more than 30 minutes into The New World, enjoyed Killing Of A Sacred Deer despite his presence, skipped The Lobster

That said there’s nothing I like more tho when I have the feeling of “coming around” to an actor who I previously disenjoyed (Nicole Kidman in To Die For broke my bias toward her and now I love her in everything). Hoping this movie does the same for me re Colin Farrell, ?

french testicle (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 15:09 (three months ago) link

Yeah very interested to hear what you think, fgti!

bit high, bitch (gyac), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 15:29 (three months ago) link

funny to have Farrell recognisable at the moment isn't it. Last few things I've seen him in he seems to be intentionally trying to disguise himself.

Stevolende, Tuesday, 27 December 2022 15:33 (three months ago) link

He's also solid in the new After Yang.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 15:35 (three months ago) link

Yeah I'm hoping I come around to Mr. Farrell and I'm going to watch this tonight. It really sucks to feel like I can't watch The New World because I just dislike his face in my eyeballs so much

There aren't many actors I feel this aversion toward, Gabriel Byrne and Stephen Rea are two others that spring to mind (so maybe I just like my Irish actors all silly-cheekbones like Barry Keoghan and Cillian Murphy)

french testicle (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 21:13 (three months ago) link

Well I’ve got good news for you about the rest of the cast

bit high, bitch (gyac), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 21:22 (three months ago) link

I think it’s now past time to admit that Farrell is very good.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 21:22 (three months ago) link

God knows I've tried to like Liam Neeson.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 21:31 (three months ago) link

I was probably already a Farrell follower leading into it, but his take on Fright Night made me a forever fan.

عباس کیارستمی (Eric H.), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 22:40 (three months ago) link

In defence of Farrell, even if I don’t enjoy watching him act, he is v much a ride

french testicle (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 22:44 (three months ago) link

and, I must say, he's gotten handsomer as he's aged.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 22:45 (three months ago) link

He's outrageously pretty. I think that sometimes works against him.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 22:46 (three months ago) link

He's powdery and almost feminine in After Yang, a mode I've never seen him in and it suits him.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 23:08 (three months ago) link

I think he's almost always good, and for such a pretty guy his performances have no discernible vanity.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Tuesday, 27 December 2022 23:28 (three months ago) link


jaymc, Wednesday, 28 December 2022 04:22 (three months ago) link

it wasn't an aversion to the Irish Kevin Webster that put me off this movie before I'd even watched it, it's McDonagh who put me off watching because normally I can't even get to the end of his movies I hate them that much.

calzino, Wednesday, 28 December 2022 06:07 (three months ago) link

Isn't Bobby Gillespie in danger of being typecast

Stevolende, Wednesday, 28 December 2022 08:15 (three months ago) link

Well I loved this. Colin Farrell’s performance was just wonderful tbh!!

From wiki, quoting Guy Lodge writing for Variety: “What begins as a doleful, anecdotal narrative becomes something closer to mythic in its rage and resonance: McDonagh has long fixated on the most visceral, vengeful extremes of human behavior, but never has he formed something this sorely heartbroken from that fascination.”

french testicle (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 28 December 2022 19:06 (three months ago) link

That’s a good description. The confrontation in the pub where he’s talking about everyone he’ll remember and all this hurt emerging has really stuck with me.

bit high, bitch (gyac), Wednesday, 28 December 2022 19:12 (three months ago) link

I'm curious as to why McDonagh titled two of his plays after two of the three Aran Islands but then set this film on a fictional island instead of setting it on the third of them

french testicle (flamboyant goon tie included), Wednesday, 28 December 2022 20:16 (three months ago) link

the dialogue is the part of the writing we like, though.

Cinta Kaz is comin' to town (Sufjan Grafton), Sunday, 29 January 2023 03:41 (two months ago) link

Would have maybe made a better stage play.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 29 January 2023 03:45 (two months ago) link

I don't know. Shots of cloud islands above land islands also seemed important to success.

Cinta Kaz is comin' to town (Sufjan Grafton), Sunday, 29 January 2023 05:13 (two months ago) link

see this is why im here and here only the tourist board of the island would like me to remind you all that you can enjoy all of the locations but without many of the paper thin characterisations so this seems like a good time for me to underline that point

Ár an broc a mhic (darraghmac), Sunday, 29 January 2023 17:00 (two months ago) link

Watched this yesterday with reasonably high expectations. I didn’t know a lot about the movie ahead of time, good or bad. But the trailer looked good and it’s got a lot of awards/nominations, so…

Had I fully understood that it was the same guy behind Three Billboards I would have entered with more trepidation.

Anyway, I enjoyed it at the start. Looked good, performances were good, and it walked the line between comedy and drama. And the theme of “friend divorce” resonated.

But the more it went on, the worse it got. To the point that I absolutely hated the whole endeavor by the end. A lot of the reasons have been better articulated in this thread already.

The premise of this film had so much potential but it never dug beyond the initial set of plot points—Colm inexplicably stops being friends with Padraic is unsatisfied by that development. It could have gone *anywhere* from here and as best I can tell McDonagh thought “pat allegory for civil war” was the best option.

I think the thing that frustrates me most was that Colm’s motivations and internal logic were not only inscrutable to Padraic, they seemed to be inscrutable to McDonagh too. His desire to spend the remainder of his life dedicated to artistic/intellectual pursuits was undercut at every turn. Not just the most obvious and perplexing actions with tanked the whole plot, but also little things, like… he didn’t seem all that good or committed to music. He never got his ass out of the pub. He seemed to think that the *only* thing holding back his rewarding life was this one guy’s boring stories. He wasn’t well read nor did he seem to have any desire to be. To think that he had some grand epiphany about how he wanted to spend the rest of his life, and it all boiled down to cutting off all contact with one single guy, in a town where close contact is inevitable (one pub, one church, one store). His position was a farce from the outset and McDonagh never gave the character any real chance to make us believe otherwise. So maybe Colm was actually resigned to his own nihilism from the start and cutting himself off from Padraic was more of a first step toward pure solipsism… which might justify his most dramatic action but again he had no interest in cutting contact with others, and he wasn’t so resigned that he didn’t stay in house at the final climactic moment.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 29 January 2023 17:00 (two months ago) link

they seemed to be inscrutable to McDonagh too

I was wondering if I missed a metaphor or something, so googled, and found an interview with McDonagh where he conceded the cutting off of fingers was just an idea that came to him, with not much deeper meaning.

“I thought it was interesting that an artist would threaten the thing that allows him to make art,” McDonagh said. “Does that thing make him the artist?”

Yeah, but wtf does it have to do with the movie you actually *made*?

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 29 January 2023 18:11 (two months ago) link

thank you pgwp for that precise dissection of my own hatred of the film
(and hi dmac!)

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 29 January 2023 18:36 (two months ago) link

dmac back to Press the Green Button

Luna Schlosser, Sunday, 29 January 2023 19:02 (two months ago) link

xps i don't think colm actually resented padraig because he was a distraction from his musical ambitions. that might have been the story he told himself, but his behavior tells a different story. i think he was jealous that padraig was content with his life on inisherin. colm felt the need to protest his existence, but since he didn't know what *else* he wanted out of life, the protest was both incoherent and directed mostly against himself.

treeship., Sunday, 29 January 2023 19:25 (two months ago) link

best part of the movie was siobhan correcting colm about mozart. colm was full of shit.

treeship., Sunday, 29 January 2023 19:27 (two months ago) link

I've been carefully following this discussion to help me decide whether this is the sort of film I would get enjoyment from. so far, the nays have it. carry on. i'm enjoying the discussion on its own merits.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Sunday, 29 January 2023 19:33 (two months ago) link

viewing this film as a “pat allegory for civil war” is pretty reductionist, it is entirely enjoyable without even factoring that aspect in.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Sunday, 29 January 2023 19:35 (two months ago) link

In fact, I enjoyed it without it; the pat stuff is so pat it barely plays a role. As a modest (more or less) chamber piece about two characters it's fine on its own, minus any attempt at metaphor or allegory. So I'd say go for it, Aimless, it's barely two hours long.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 29 January 2023 19:43 (two months ago) link

I’m just trying to ascertain McDonagh’s own goals as the writer and filmmaker. The civil war metaphor is there, and the chamber piece about two characters is there. I don’t know which path McDonagh meant to foreground but either way I think he failed

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 29 January 2023 22:10 (two months ago) link

i don't feel that this aspect is foregrounded, or at least, I don't think assessing the film with the idea that this is paramount and integral to the story does it any service, which clearly this discussion has supported. The thing is it is not a pat metaphor, really, and doesn't really work. AT best it's a messy metaphor. As such I think it adds something, but isn't necessary to appreciate the film, which in my mind works much better as an interpersonal character study.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Sunday, 29 January 2023 22:15 (two months ago) link

If only we had some way to know what the director’s intention was!

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Sunday, 29 January 2023 22:58 (two months ago) link

Like, I don’t care if you personally choose to ignore that, as I said upthread gritting my teeth and saying “Death of the author” is basically my only remaining way of enjoying the stuff I did liked. But it’s a total lie to say that obvious link wasn’t intended. It’s really, really, really not remotely a clever film.

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Sunday, 29 January 2023 23:00 (two months ago) link

every time I see that quote again I want him to die a horrible death, even more.

calzino, Sunday, 29 January 2023 23:15 (two months ago) link

I mean it would be odd to set the film in that extremely specific period of Irish history if you didn't mean something by it. Of course you could certainly have the same story take place in a contemporary setting but there would be less opportunity for cheap metaphor and donkey-based humour (although there appear to be a not insignificant amount of Americans tweeting about how they thought the film was set in the present day. So who knows)

Number None, Sunday, 29 January 2023 23:20 (two months ago) link

I liked this film.

I took a lot more away from it about the idea of male stubbornness and refusal to deal with depression/emotions in a healthy way, than the obvious civil war analoy (which was really only a tacked-on couple of comments and didnt seem the point, to me).

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Sunday, 29 January 2023 23:41 (two months ago) link

jamelle bouie with a souring evaluation of mcdonagh films

ꙮ (map), Thursday, 2 February 2023 17:28 (one month ago) link

That’s a great evaluation. Plenty of people posting in this thread could learn from that!

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Thursday, 2 February 2023 17:33 (one month ago) link

Saw this last night and never quite believed in it. I've slept on it and in honesty, cast and photography aside (big ifs, sure), this felt televisual to me; if I'd watched it out of the corner of my eye, it could have been a Sunday night misery-porn fiesta to watch before bed - just with a big SCRIPT chucked at it. And because of all that, I felt like the cast - Farrell in particular - were desperately trying to convince the audience that any of this was vaguely plausible. I don't claim to have any deep understanding of the civil war but a couple of times I asked myself out loud 'if this is some cheap allegory for the civil war, then jesus'.

Great thread, ilx.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 13 February 2023 09:30 (one month ago) link

The Civil War allegory really provides zero of what I liked about the movie, successful or not. To me it works better as an allegory about undiagnosed mental illness, as well as provincial resentments and hostilities. And yes, it works even better than that as an acting showcase, so you could argue McDonough got away with one here.

Chris L, Monday, 13 February 2023 12:35 (one month ago) link

perhaps the point of the civil war allegory is that while colm's stand was, from his perspective, principled, he ultimately hurt himself most of all. he must represent the anti-treaty side of the conflict imo.

treeship., Monday, 13 February 2023 13:21 (one month ago) link

he was after all within his rights to demand full independence from padraig. but the bitterness with which he pursued this end showed that he cared more about the conflict itself than the freedom he said he wanted. i think the movie is saying something like that. i do not know enough about irish history to say whether this is a fair evaluation of the IRA though.

treeship., Monday, 13 February 2023 13:23 (one month ago) link

This individual thinks the film is more telling about Covid-19.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 14 February 2023 11:15 (one month ago) link

i hope that individual got a pass mark for whatever module that collection of sentences was originally submitted for

Ár an broc a mhic (darraghmac), Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:01 (one month ago) link

if mcdonagh has the moral fibre to set his next work in eighties london and tackle whatever complex tableau of identity and trauma most conveniently presents itself to the characters thus situated I'll at least take back some of my current most deeply established opinions about him- that he is the cheapest type of faux profound gifted stylist. hes barely a level above the political or social commentary that could be reasonably attributed to a gaultier collection in 1997 oh how clever how daring nb ive still not seen this

Ár an broc a mhic (darraghmac), Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:06 (one month ago) link

Uhhhh do you mind darraghmac my enjoyment of the film wasn’t affected at all by the stuff that doesn’t matter to me

here you go, muttonchops Yaz (gyac), Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:09 (one month ago) link


yeah but what about the graun piece? (ho ho ho). I used to know this guy known as DJ Dave who once made this hilarious "don't take smack video" whilst on a vid-editing course offered to the terminally unemployed in the mid 90's. He was a fucking idiot, but still probably better suited to writing allegorical dramas about [whatever] than this cunt, still more talented.

calzino, Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:28 (one month ago) link

nb i still think mcdonagh can write dialogue that gives actors a great platform which isnt nothing

hes been very ill served by plaudits is i think my take

Ár an broc a mhic (darraghmac), Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:33 (one month ago) link

I think it's more a case of good actors managing to cast off from a rotten platform than t'other way round.

calzino, Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:37 (one month ago) link

but I did 3 times watch it over the christmas period and enjoyed it tbh

calzino, Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:41 (one month ago) link

its fair possible that im only avoiding this because of the weight attributed it! if nobody gave mcdonagh undue credit thematically id enjoy all his stuff perhaps

insofar as i grew up at all or anywhere i grew up within three miles of seventy percent of the exterior shots so i will out of duty catch it at some stage im sure

Ár an broc a mhic (darraghmac), Tuesday, 14 February 2023 23:45 (one month ago) link

A smart friend whose tastes in film are at best erratic recommended Calvary, which somehow didn't catch my attention in 2014; we had no idea the directors were related, for starters. It's better about its Local Colo(u)r than Banshees, though it collapses into meanwhile-back-at staging. It didn't earn its ending. Brendan Gleason, relying on that Stephen Rea thing of investing monosyllables with untapped reserves of feeling, is by far the best thing about it.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 20 February 2023 14:58 (one month ago) link

I finally got around to watching this yesterday, and here are my thoughts. I had them before opening this delightful thread, but I did my due diligence and caught up so my words may be colored by the opinions already stated here:
- The beginning of the movie sets itself up as this parable about the man who thought he was interesting in opposition to the man he feels is dull (but identifies as "nice"). It quickly becomes clear they live in a very small community and avoiding interaction is going to be impossible. Then! We get this self-mutilation threat should the nice man continue his interactions. Now we're cooking!
- This kind of works for a while. We get the sidebar bits with Dominic and Siobhán, which are delightful if somewhat harrowing in Dominic's case.
- We get some indications, not-so-subtly dropped, that there is a civil war going on across the way. Uh oh, I smell an allegory.
- It wasn't initially clear but that was a bad smell. It gets worse.

Overall, great acting, excellent dialogue in parts, the plot as a whole is kind of a clunker

McDonagh definitely writes the slightly exaggerated dialogue that makes the characters come off a bit larger, definitely reminiscent of what you get in stage plays where people in the cheap seats might not be getting all the small bits and expressions so everything's a little over-telegraphed when it's on film. I would question whether it's intentional that the characters come off as caricatures, but I don't think as a writer he's even considered doing things differently.

mh, Monday, 27 February 2023 15:39 (one month ago) link

There's this kind of belligerent Tarantino-ness to his dialogue which is pretty fun but maybe tiring after awhile

Tracer Hand, Monday, 27 February 2023 17:57 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

I saw the trailer for this a few months ago and, for whatever reason, figured it wasn't for me. But a friend urged me to see it after relating a recent situation in my own life virtually identical to Pádraic's; equally blindsided, no explanation (Colm did have one), a friend of 50 years.

I can't say for sure how I would have felt absent that--I don't know that it would have made all that much difference--but I really liked it. I don't know if Colm's extreme course of action (without being more specific than that if you haven't seen it) was necessary--I think the film would have been as strong without that--but obviously it's central to the film. Going to hazard a guess that I wouldn't think nearly as highly of the two acting categories that won AAs (only one of which I'll get around to seeing) as the two here that were nominated. Also think Brendan Gleeson should have been nominated.

clemenza, Sunday, 19 March 2023 03:38 (one week ago) link

He was!

the very juice and sperm of kindness. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 March 2023 03:47 (one week ago) link

Pádraic is genuinely nice. I was thinking about two people I have a certain degree of involvement with in my small town who are always posting those terrible memes on Facebook about how to properly treat people and what it means to be a good person. They're both a few years older than I am. I can't think of two ruder, less nice people. Are they even remotely aware of the disconnect between the stuff they post and the way they actually conduct themselves?

clemenza, Sunday, 19 March 2023 20:53 (one week ago) link

i’m not puttin’ me donkey outside when i’m sad either.

liberal with a capital LIE (Hunt3r), Monday, 20 March 2023 01:56 (one week ago) link

The tiny donkey was my favorite character in the movie.

octobeard, Monday, 20 March 2023 02:17 (one week ago) link

I can't believe there were two prominent donkey films this year. That's got to be a record (by two) for almost every year ever.

clemenza, Monday, 20 March 2023 02:39 (one week ago) link

I loved the emotional support donkey

mh, Monday, 20 March 2023 04:08 (one week ago) link

The donkey was the the only redeeming part of the movie, it's fate was a sadistic turn in the plot.

BrianB, Monday, 20 March 2023 12:43 (one week ago) link

This was highly entertaining, mostly because of the acting and the beautiful locations took me back to my visit to Inishmore. Didn't really think it had as much to say as it thought it did.

can i play with march madness? (PBKR), Monday, 20 March 2023 14:01 (one week ago) link

I think you could just enjoy it for all of that, and also for the Local Hero-type humour ("Let's not skip ahead..."). But I did think the film's central theme as explained by Colm (give or take a century) was valid and handled well. The only thing I question is Colm's threat, which seemed a little gimmicky (plus I'm squeamish).

clemenza, Monday, 20 March 2023 16:02 (one week ago) link

I can't believe there were two prominent donkey films this year. That's got to be a record (by two) for almost every year ever.

― clemenza, Sunday, March 19, 2023 9:39 PM (six days ago) bookmarkflaglink

There were actually donkeys in four Oscar-nominated films: Banshees, EO, Triangle of Sadness, and Navalny.

jaymc, Saturday, 25 March 2023 13:45 (six days ago) link

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