Dancing at Lughnasa |
directed by Pat O'Connor
Comes summer, and two men come to change their lives. Father John, the elder brother, has returned from his mission in Africa -- he says, to die. Gerry, Michael's father, also comes to stay the summer before he goes to enlist to fight Franco in Spain.
The film depicts a world of contrasts -- Catholic strictures vs. Ireland's pagan Lughnasa rituals, cottage industry vs. industrialism. The country is on the brink of a war that will change the world irrevocably -- and the family itself is changing, getting restless and moving in different directions.
I won't kid you, Lughnasa is grim. It's also lovely. The casting is great -- Meryl Streep as the strait-laced schoolteacher is a bit over the top, but Michael Gambon as Father John is just delightful. And there's the scenery -- and the music. Dancing at Lughnasa is a very worthwhile watch and an essential for fans of Irish film.
5 April 2008
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