It’s a lovely sunny St. Patty’s Day here in New York City, folks are dressed in all sorts of bizarre green gear (Mardi Gras beads?? what the???), and there are men in kilts lugging pipes and drums on public transportation. Sure I’ve even donned a kurti with a green floral pattern and carried in soda bread to the office for all to enjoy.
On this day, in addition to missing my late Mom, I can’t help but think of some favorite Ireland-themed films that I’d recommend (should anyone ask):
Excalibur (ok, ok, it’s the King Arthur story, but it was filmed in Ireland and gave Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne their film debuts, and introduced Helen Mirren to Liam, who then became her beau),
Cal (with a vulnerable, young John Lynch and a demure (brunette) Helen Mirren as star-crossed lovers in northern Ireland)
Into the West (Gabriel Byrne as an impoverished distraught widow and father, struggling to raise his kids on his own in the blight of urban Dublin, in pre-Celtic Tiger days)
In the Name of the Father (brilliant soundtrack and another great turn by Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon in this story of the wrongfully imprisoned Guildford Four)
and my fave of all time, for its humor and its grit and its tribute to the north side of Dublin (from where my clan hail):
The Commitments (Alan Parker’s wonderful story – again set in the days before the boom of the Celtic Tiger – about a young guy who wants to establish a soul band, reasoning that “The Irish are the Blacks of Europe”. It’s a great ensemble film, with the 9 or so members of the band being selected (the audition scene is hilarious, especially Colm Meaney’s retort about U2 at the end), rising to local fame, and then falling into all sorts of internal squabbles.
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