Jewels from the Emerald Isle
When it comes to movies, theres more to Ireland than leprechauns, the Blarney Stone and Riverdance. Though the leprechauns are a recurrent feature. Irish directors like Jim Sheridan and Neil Jordan have delivered some of the hardest hitting, uncompromising political dramas to come out of Europe, but the Emerald Isle has given us charming comedies and magical whimsy too. Not to mention a bunch of white boys with soul, and one of the biggest gender-bending twists in cinema history.
The Movie: A musical that doesnt depend on glitzy costumes and layers of make-up for its entertainment and heart, this drama from director John Carney follows an immigrant couples attempts to turn their love story into a musical. Traipsing the streets of Dublin, they imprint their lives on the music they create. A moving modern musical.
Vision Of Ireland: Flush with aural wonders.
The Quiet Man (1952)
The Movie: John Wayne vehicle directed by John Ford set in the 1930s, in which the first John plays Sean Thornton, an American boxer with Irish roots. When Sean returns to Inisfree to reclaim his familys farm, he finds love in the form of Maureen OHara.
Vision Of Ireland: Lush and verdant, befitting the moniker The Emerald Isle.
The Movie: Magical suburban fairytale following Dylan and Kylie, who escape their clashing families during Christmas and head to the city of Dublin, where they find a newfound freedom. The casting of unknowns Kelly ONeill and Shane Curry is a master stroke, as Lance Dalys film expertly follows their journey of self-discovery into the citys black heart.
Vision Of Ireland: A place of wonder.
In The Name Of The Father (1994)
The Movie: Oscar-nominated biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Peter Postlethwaite as a father and son who are convicted of the IRAs Guildford pub bombings, which resulted in the deaths of four soldiers and a civilian. Its based on the true life story of the Guildford Four, in particular Gerry Conlons autobiography. Postlethwaite received his only Oscar nod for the film.
Vision Of Ireland: Gripped by IRA-induced fear.
The Field (1990)
The Movie: Based on the mid-60s play by John B. Keane, and following tough-as-old-boots farmer Bull McCabe (Richard Harris), who has spent his life transforming the rocky terrain he rents into a pasture suitable for his cattle. Harris received an Academy Award nod for his role.
Vision Of Ireland: Full of cattle and perfect for agricultural development.
In America (2003)
The Movie: Samantha Morton and Paddy Considine head up this touching drama from Jim Sheridan, which follows an Irish family who attempt to build a new life for themselves in New York.
Vision Of Ireland: Quaint and charming in comparison to America.
The Commitments (1991)
The Movie: Comedy drama adapted from Roddy Doyles novel, revolving around a soul band thats formed by a collection of unemployed Irishmen and women. Filmed on location in Dublin, it was directed by Fames Alan Parker and stars a cast of talented unknowns.
Vision Of Ireland: Overflowing with musical talent.
Angelas Ashes (1999)
The Movie: Another Ireland-based tale from English filmmaker Alan Parker, this one the tear-inducing story of Frank McCourts childhood in the 30s and 40s, when his fathers alcoholism created no end of turbulence for his family. It bombed at the box office, but is a gutsy adap of the real McCourts memoirs.
Vision Of Ireland: A place of hardship.
Michael Collins (1996)
The Movie: Biopic following the titular Collins from director Neil Jordan, with Liam Neeson in the title role. General Michael Collins is an Irish patriot and revolutionary who gives his life in the Irish Civil War. At the time, the film became the top grossing film ever to be released in Ireland.
Vision Of Ireland: Full of gutsy men wholl do right no matter what the cost.