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A Guide to Modern Films from Ireland

I have long had an interest in Irish films. There is something fun in the lyrical way they speak, and the movies often hit the perfect note. Here are a few of my suggestions for Irish films, and what makes them unique from the movies produced in Hollywood. You can catch the office season 1 of TV shows based on the same themes and plot as you click on the link. This way you get the best movie and TV show experience for your whole family. 

Waking Ned Divine: This is the standard by which all Irish movies should be judged. In fact, it is the standard for any comedy. In the film, village bands together to get the lottery money, even though the ticket holder died. Their trickery is hilarious, and the cast really works well together. The thing that makes this movie stand out is that there is an inspirational message, and it is neither heavy-handed nor flippant. They simply let the message of community stand on its own, without moralizing about it.

Greenfingers: This movie is not an Irish film per se, but it does have David Kelly, an exceptional Irish actor. Greenfingers is relatively unknown, especially considering it stars Clive Owen. He plays a prisoner who leads a team of prison gardeners to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The story is based on a true story, and it could have easily fallen flat. But Clive Owen provides a lot of depth for the character. This movie is a bit romanticized at times, but all good Irish movies have a bit of that.

Some Mother’s Son: This film is a drama based on the men associated with Bobby Sands and the IRA. The soundtrack is excellent, and Aiden Gillen is excellent. The scenes where the men are communicating with each other in prison are excellent, and Helen Mirren is superb as a mother who loves her son but does not approve of his actions. Sadly, these movies fails in the end. It tries to give both sides of an argument and ultimately does not actually say anything.

Saving Grace: Saving Grace is about a woman that begins growing pot after her husband commits suicide. Sadly, this is one comedy that does not work. While there are humorous parts, it feels contrived. The ending is abysmal. They wrap up the story far too quickly and do so with the ultimate in “happy” endings. It was watchable, but it was not rewatchable.

The Matchmaker: This is barely an Irish movie. While it is mostly set in Ireland, the overall plot deals with a U.S. Senator that wants to court the Irish-American vote. So, he sends a campaigner to Ireland to discover his family roots. The cast also has two Americans, Janeane Garofalo, and Denis Leary, with Garofalo playing the campaigner who lands in the middle of a matchmaking festival. This movie has some charm but cannot match Waking Ned Divine for sheer cuteness.

All of these movies are worth watching, and some are worth owning. Irish movies tend to feature some of the most beautiful scenery, and their characters are richly developed. Check these films out for good, lighthearted entertainment.