Disputed remembrance of things past
This enthralling story is based on the testimony, given by former IRA member Dolours Price to journalist Ed Moloney, on the basis that it would not be made public until after her death. Maurice Sweeney’s film smartly splices the interview with newsreel footage and deftly understated re-enactments. Price became part of the The Unknowns tasked with the ‘disappearing’ of alleged informants and it is here that her most explosive revelations emerge. A fantastic look at a troubled past with a special mention owing to work of D.O.P. Kate McCullough.
Star-crossed lovers in luminous monochrome war-ravaged times
Pawel Pawlikowski’s follow-up to his mesmerising Ida chronicles a much-thwarted romance spanning 15 years. Set in Poland in 1946, Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) has been tasked by party apparatchiks to record the country’s traditional folk music and dance for a propagandistic, morale-boosting statement of national pride. He becomes captivated by the talented young singer/dancer Zula (Joanna Kulig). A destiny to be fulfilled or denied?
Our boy Barry does good in Bart Layton’s heist caper
A brew of fact and fiction is pulled off with great panache in Bart Layton’s heist caper in which Spencer (Barry Keoghan) and Warren (Evan Peters) dream up the idea of stealing rare books from their University’s library.
We get variations on scenes according to the interviewees differing accounts; doubts are constantly being cast over scenes with interviewees mis-remembering, and, at times, likely fabricating. A botched job leads to fallout and a yearning for lost youth as well as what might have been.
A MOTHER TAKES HER SON TO BE SHOT
Peace being processed
You wait for one great documentary about The Troubles (see I. Dolorous) and suddenly you get two. Sinead O’Shea’s exploration of a family and community in Derry and how the legacy of the Peace Process has impacted on their lives is a wake-up call. It’s also the culmination of documentary journalism at its finest as O’Shea pain-stakingly follows the lives of Majella O’Donnell and her family over a number of years. A sense of abandonment pervades this story which is inflected with humour which springs from a sense of oppression, abandonment and the lack of opportunity or incentive.
THE LITTLE STRANGER
Our most-fêted director returns.
Lenny Abrahamson returns to the screen after his Oscar winning Room with an adaptation of Sarah Walter’s much lauded novel. Casting two of the finest actors of their generation – Domhnall Glesson and Will Poulter – this tale is set in Hundreds Hall and the strange goings-on within its walls. In essence, it’s a slowly unfurling ghost story infused with a thick sense of dread.