Gerard Mcsorley

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Bloody Sunday Review


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A nonviolent protest march in Derry, Northern Ireland escalates into a bloodbath on January 30, 1972. Alas, this event is best known within the American pop culture lexicon as U2's sanctimonious rock ballad, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (which makes a grating appearance during the closing credits, after a movie that has nearly no music in it whatsoever). If nothing else, the new film Bloody Sunday directed by Paul Greengrass (The Theory of Flight) should be able to get a sense of the tensions that arose that fateful day between Irish protesters and British paratroopers. Told in a minute-by-minute documentary style, the story recreates the events of that morning switching back and forth between the British and Irish perspective.

It's a compelling idea, with handheld digital cameras swooping around the actors as the Derry citizens prepare for the march. It has the lived-in quality of any rally you've ever been to, with stressed-out volunteers trying to coordinate the herd. The performances are naturalistic and unshowy, with a committed performance by James Nesbitt as Protestant activist Ivan Cooper (whose everyman mug and receding hairline make him a believably workaday hero). There's a surprising lack of self-righteousness in the proceedings, for the most part fairly handling the British officers and soldiers caught up in gung-ho tension and resentment for being there in the first place. And the Irish aren't given a halo, with IRA thugs working their way through the crowd and stupid kid hooligans throwing stones during the "peaceful" march.

Continue reading: Bloody Sunday Review

Agnes Browne Review


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I'm always skeptical when I see a Hollywood diva trying to look haggard, poor, and malnourished in a film. Everybody knows that in real life they all have personal trainers and special diets along with the best technology has to offer in keeping themselves looking young and beautiful. So in the first five minutes of Anjelica Huston's latest production, Agnes Browne, when her husband has died and left behind seven young children in a poor area of Dublin, Ireland, the first thing I said to myself was, "There's no way that a woman going through this kind of hardship can look that good."

Set in the year 1967, the film follows the struggles of Agnes Brown, (Anjelica Huston) a recent widow battling to keep her irregularly large family intact (six boys and a girl, ranging in age from 2 to 14). In order to give her husband the funeral he deserves, Agnes must borrow money from the menacing loan shark Mr. Billy (Ray Winstone). As she attempts to pay him back in weekly installments, he terrorizes her and her small children at every street corner. To make ends meet, Agnes sells fruit and vegetables on the street along with her best friend Marion Monks (Marion O'Dwyer). The two are inseparable and Marion is, ironically enough, Anjelica's guardian angel, as she brightens Agnes life and helps her in times of desperate need. When Pierre (Arno Chevrier, a Gerard Depardieu look-alike) comes along in the form of a neighborhood French baker and takes an interest in Agnes, sparks fly as she tries to forge a personal life of her own with the possibility of newfound love, all while dealing with the nuisance of seven hellion children.

Continue reading: Agnes Browne Review

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Bloody Sunday Movie Review

Bloody Sunday Movie Review

A nonviolent protest march in Derry, Northern Ireland escalates into a bloodbath on January 30,...

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