Irish Movies for St. Patrick’s Day
If you’ll be staying home for St. Patrick’s Day this year, why not cook yourself some corned beef and cabbage and settle in for an Irish film fest? Here are eight Irish films – covering various genres – that you might enjoy!
- Sing Street: SING STREET takes us back to 1980s Dublin seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who is looking for a break from a home strained by his parents’ relationship and money troubles, while trying to adjust to his new inner-city public school where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, über-cool and beautiful Raphina (Lucy Boynton), and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. There’s only one problem: he’s not part of a band…yet. She agrees, and now Conor must deliver what he’s promised – calling himself “Cosmo” and immersing himself in the vibrant rock music trends of the decade, he forms a band with a few lads, and the group pours their heart into writing lyrics and shooting videos. Inspired by writer/director John Carney’s (ONCE, BEGIN AGAIN) life and love for music, SING STREET shows us a world where music has the power to take us away from the turmoil of everyday life and transform us into something greater.
- A Date for Mad Mary: A DATE FOR MAD MARY tells the story of ‘Mad’ Mary McArdle returning to Drogheda after a short spell in prison – for something she’d rather forget. Back home, everything and everyone has changed. Her best friend, Charlene, is about to get married and Mary is maid of honor. When Charlene refuses Mary a ‘plus one’ on the grounds that she probably couldn’t find a date, Mary becomes determined to prove her wrong. But her attempts at dating are a disaster and she winds up feeling more alone… until she meets Jess and everything changes.
- Calvary: Brendan Gleeson delivers “a truly sensational performance” (Total Film) in this “wickedly funny black comedy” (Time Out) from acclaimed writer-director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard). When a good priest (Gleeson) is threatened by a mysterious member of his parish, he feels sinister forces closing in and begins to wonder if he will have the courage to face his own personal Calvary.
- Ondine: Ondine is the story of Syracuse, a fisherman who catches a beautiful and mysterious woman in his trawler’s nets. The woman seems to be dead, but then she comes alive before Syracuse’s eyes. With the help of his ailing, yet irrepressible daughter, Annie, he comes to believe that the fantastical might be possible and that the woman (Ondine) might be a myth come true. Ondine and Syracuse fall passionately in love, but just as we think the fairytale might go on forever, the real world intercedes.
- Once: Once is the inspirational tale of two kindred spirits who find each other on the bustling streets of Dublin. One is a street musician who lacks the confidence to perform his own songs. The other is a young mother trying to find her way in a strange new town. As their lives intertwine, they discover each other’s talents and push one another to realize what each had only dreamt about before. Once is their inspiring story.
- Waking Ned Devine: In a small town in Ireland named Tulaigh More, one of the 52 inhabitants wins the lotto jackpot of nearly seven million pounds. When nobody claims the loot, the town goes on a search to find the winner. However, all they find is old Ned Devine dead, a smile on his face, clutching the winning ticket. In Ireland, the lottery winnings must be claimed by the purchaser, which puts the town in a spot — if the lottery officials discover Devine dead, he, and the town of Tulaigh More, forfeit the money. Hilarity ensues when the community embarks on an outrageous scheme to claim the winning lotto ticket! But in the process, the townsfolk learn the importance of friendship and the true value of money.
- Michael Collins: Starring Irish-born Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts, Aidan Quinn, and Alan Rickman, this extraordinary historical epic was directed by Neil Jordan and received two Academy Award nominations. Michael Collins, one of Ireland’s most controversial patriots and revolutionary heroes, leads his countrymen in their fight for independence. Having come of age in the early 20th century, when a monumental history of oppression and bloodshed had divided Ireland and its people, Collins was arrested during the 1916 Easter Uprising, when Irish revolutionaries surrendered to the overwhelming military power of the British forces after a six-day standoff at Dublin’s General Post Office. Upon his release, he took leadership of the Irish independence movement and strove to create a free and peaceful country. Irish pop singer/activist Sinead O’Connor provides haunting vocals in the Oscar-nominated score.
- The Commitments: In the northside of Dublin, Jimmy Rabbitte aspires to manage the world’s greatest band, with only one music in mind: soul. By advertising for applicants in a newspaper and asking around to promising acquaintances, Jimmy holds auditions at his parents’ home and assembles a band together. Unlike his idols, Jimmy’s band is white. With the help of Joey “The Lips” Fagan, a veteran musician who answers the ad and joins the band and who has unlikely stories about meeting and working with famous musicians, Jimmy begins to whip the members into shape – gradually coming together beautifully onstage, only to have the group fall apart in a clash of egos.
This St. Patrick’s Day, why not enjoy a movie and some popcorn? These Irish films – ranging from comedy to drama and everything in between – will have you celebrating the holiday and enjoying some great cinema!
***All movie descriptions courtesy of iTunes