In honor of St. Patrick's Day on Saturday, this week's Movie Night involves movies that feature Ireland. It was hard to decide on just three Irish-themed films, since so many more have struck a chord in me. When pressed, however, I'd say these are my favorite films about the Emerald Isle.
This 1991 film follows ambitious Jimmy Rabbitte, a young man determined to form an American-style band in Dublin. He gathers an army of talented — if misfit — musicians whose tempers don't exactly harmonize. The movie is full of humor, passion, and really great music from artists like Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin.
For two other excellent and entertaining films,
In the Name of the Father
I watched this grueling, emotionally charged biopic in a world history class many years ago and was struck by the injustice of the case: Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day Lewis) is wrongfully accused for a 1970s IRA bombing. His "confession" is extracted by means of brutal police interrogation, and Conlon's father (Pete Postlethwaite) is also falsely implicated. Emma Thompson plays the lawyer who fights to uncover the truth. The film is superbly directed by Jim Sheridan, the driving force behind two other excellent Irish films: In America and My Left Foot.
Waking Ned Divine
The premise for this movie is hilarious: Irishman Ned Divine dies from shock when he learns that he's won the national lottery. Unwilling to let his winnings go unclaimed, the village enters into a pact to pretend Ned's alive so they can collect his money and split it amongst themselves. It's a little like Weekend at Bernie's except, you know, clever.