Tag Archives: Ireland

Wildfire: Cathy Brady and Nora-Jane Noone on their Irish border drama

The title of Cathy Brady’s debut feature, Wildfire, references how rumours and malice spread, but also the intensity of potential damage once a dangerous spark is lit.

Inseparable sisters raised in a small town on the Irish border, Lauren and Kelly faced a devastating loss as children with the mysterious death of their mother, their father having also previously perished in a fatal bombing. Now adults, their bond is about to intensify further as the spectre of mental illness that surrounded their late mother remains thick in the air, thanks to town gossip that’s never really faded. 

After a year of being missing, presumed dead, Kelly (Nika McGuigan, who sadly died at 33 from cancer during post-production) returns to Northern Ireland amid Brexit border uncertainties on the news. Her own erratic and distressing behaviour chips away at the façade of normality that Lauren (Nora-Jane Noone) is barely maintaining.

Talking to us ahead of the film’s UK and Irish release, writer-director Brady and star Noone discuss the unique way in which their drama came together…

Full interview for the BFI

Sophie Hyde on ‘Animals’: ‘We don’t just come of age once and then we’re adults forever. We keep coming of age.’

As Animals begins, hard-partying Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat) have been tearing up the streets of Dublin for 10 years. But 32-year-old Laura finds herself at a crossroads where changing her manner of living sounds pretty tempting: she wants to finally write more of the novel she’s barely progressed with over several years; her tamed wild child sister’s pregnancy has her freaking out; and she strikes up a romance with Jim (Fra Fee), a classical pianist with an increasingly teetotal way of life. Tyler, meanwhile, who’s perfectly content with the single lifestyle and continued debauchery, finds herself at odds with the attempts at growth of the one person to whom she is attached…

Full interview for the BFI

The Cured (David Freyne, 2017)

The Cured, the debut feature from writer-director David Freyne, is a horror film that doesn’t end as well as it starts. But it does start very well, in part, because it’s blessed by a killer premise…

Full review for VODzilla.co

The Secret Scripture (Jim Sheridan, 2016)

The most striking moment in Jim Sheridan’s The Secret Scripture occurs in the very first scene, as a soft Irish voice repeatedly states, “My name is Rose McNulty. I did not kill my child.”

Older and younger incarnations of Rose are played by Vanessa Redgrave and Rooney Mara respectively. The former dictates an account of her misfortunes to a psychologist, Dr Grene (Eric Bana), as documented in the graffitied bible she’s kept hidden during her plus 40-year stay in a psychiatric hospital. She’s been there since the waning days of World War Two, admitted under accusations of both infanticide and nymphomania. Convinced the son she had snatched away from her is still alive, the older Rose argues her case…

Full review for Little White Lies

A Patch of Fog (Michael Lennox, 2015)

Following Oscar-nominated short Boogaloo and Graham, A Patch of Fog marks the feature debut of Northern Irish director Michael Lennox. Belfast is the setting of this low-budget thriller, though with nary a reference to the Troubles in the film’s screenplay or geography, the two-hander drama could plausibly take place just about anywhere. It’s in the mould of thrillers like Misery and The Fan, where a symbiotic relationship begins between a media personality and an obsessive stalker, though any veers towards violence as a means of conflict resolution in A Patch of Fog come only after a considerably lengthy bout of mind games first. And in being set in the run-up to 25th December, it offers a new contender for the misanthrope crowd to declare as their favourite Christmas film – take that, The Proposition

Full review for VODzilla.co

The Hallow (Corin Hardy, 2015)

Outside of the Leprechaun series, Irish mythology has been rather underserved by genre-inclined filmmakers. With his debut feature, backwoods horror The Hallow, director and co-writer Corin Hardy goes some way to trying to rectify this, even if the end result isn’t completely successful, nor as psychologically resonant as the best of legends…

Full review for Little White Lies

Saoirse Ronan on ‘Brooklyn’, family & musicals

“Oh God, I do really love Singin’ in the Rain. I loved Gene Kelly so much, and I loved watching him perform.”

The Skinny is chatting with Saoirse Ronan just a few hours before her new film, Brooklyn, has a red carpet launch for its European premiere at this year’s London Film Festival, and we’ve broached the topic of favourite movies from the era of the film’s 1950s setting. “What else did I love?” she continues. “I loved anything with Bette Davis. She was terrific. Maybe that was more late 40s, but she worked into the 50s as well. All About Eve would be 50s and I love All About Eve.”

The question is inspired by Ronan’s character in the film, who goes to see the aforementioned Kelly musical, swoons over Gary Cooper with a friend, and has a conversation about John Ford’s The Quiet Man, released in 1952, the year of Brooklyn’s setting…

Full interview for The Skinny