THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN
* * * * (Joyce) * * * ½ (Don)
Irish Relationship Tale
Irish movies and plays often contain humor, but always have a bit of sadness and tragedy.
“Banshees” is no exception.
The movie opens on the isolated, lonely isle of Inisherin, where two men, Colin Farrell’s Padraic and Brendan Gleeson’s Colm sit on an ancient stone wall as they do every day.
But today is different. Colm tells Padraic he doesn’t want to be his friend anymore. He finds him boring.
For about half the film we are treated to some funny lines and situations as Padraic tries to discover why his inseparable pal has discarded his friendship.
It is a very small island, so everybody gets involved.
Playwright Martin McDonagh is a master of language, and if you catch half of the dialogue, you are in for a treat.
The year is 1923. War is going on on the mainland. Life is much simpler here, where the only activity happens at the church, the local store and the bar.
People know everybody’s business, so Colm and Podraic become the big news.
You may interpret what happens next in a variety of ways.
Is McDonagh trying to tell us about the meaninglessness of life, or are we, when it comes right down to it, living in our own loneliness?
A tragic event occurs. There is death. There is a rational man who does an irrational thing.
Joyce accepted the ending, while I had trouble with it. (My problem. I always try to rewrite endings.)
By all means, see this movie for its great acting, setting, messages, and especially a donkey you will fall in love with.
One more thing: SUBTITLES!
There should be a law that no Irish dialect movie can be made without subtitles.
THE GOOD NURSE
* * * *
Jessica Chastain stars as a very good nurse. She’s a single mother with a heart condition who works nights.
Eddie Redmayne plays a recently hired nurse who joins her on the night shift and helps her both personally and professionally.
When she suspects that he may be responsible for patient deaths, she calls in the police who begin an investigation with her help.
“The Good Nurse” is based on the true story of serial killer Charlie Cullen who lives a double life.
It is also an indictment of the hospital system in New Jersey, where administrators throw roadblocks in front of the investigation, refusing to cooperate because of fear of lawsuits.
Chastain is terrific.
* * * ½
Stanley Tucci stars as a wife-killer on death row whose amazing abilities help him solve a number of murders.
When a woman disappears, her journalist friend starts her own investigation, becoming deeply involved with the prisoner.
Into the story comes the local vicar who counsels a disturbed man who likes child porn. He thinks it belongs to his son and will do anything to protect him, including hiding a woman captive in his basement.
The unrelated characters slowly become connected and the story becomes complicated and terrifying.
We don’t want to tell you more without spoiling the intriguing outcomes.
This one is a bit weird, but stick with it and you will enjoy something quite different.
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