Irish Films To Look Out For in 2018

| November 26, 2018 | Comments (0)

2018 promises to be another great year for Irish film, including The Breadwinner, which recently beat Pixar’s Coco to win Best Animated Feature at the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards and is in the running for an Oscar nomination.

Below, we take a look at some of the Irish films making their way to cinemas this year.

 

Keepers of the Flame (Nuala O’Connor)

14th December 2018

Tells the universal story of generations dealing with the consequences of war and civil war; of what is remembered and what is forgotten. Keepers of the Flame delves into the archives of the Irish Military Service Pensions and what emerges is a truly personal retelling of a brutal and divisive period in the birth of a nation and the devastating legacy it left in its wake, for the individuals who took part and their families who suffered long after the fighting ended. More than 85,000 applied for the Irish Military Service Pension. Just over 18,000 received any payment.


The Belly of the Whale (Morgan Bushe)

Irish premiere at Galway Film Fleadh 10th July 2018

7th December 2018

Set over a long bank holiday weekend, misfit teenager, Joey Moody, returns to his home town in a foolhardy bid to reopen his family’s crumbling caravan park and salvage his friendship with his best friend and drinking partner, Lanks.

CAST: Pat Shortt, Lewis MacDougall, Art Parkinson, Michael Smiley, Peter Coonan, Lauren Kinsella


Disobedience (Sebastián Lelio)

30th November 2018

New York photographer Ronit Krushka flies to London after learning about the death of her estranged father. Ronit is returning to the same Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her decades earlier for her childhood attraction to Esti, a female friend. Their fortuitous and happy reunion soon reignites their burning passion as the two women explore boundaries of faith and sexuality.

CAST: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams,Alessandro Nivola


The Camino Voyage (Donal O’Ceilleachair)

23rd November 2018

A crew including a writer, two musicians, an artist and a stonemason embark on the Camino by sea, in a traditional boat that they built themselves, on an inspiring and dangerous 2,500km modern day Celtic odyssey all the way from Ireland to Northern Spain.

“an inspiring tale”

Read Sean Dooley’s review here


Good Favour (Rebecca Daly) 

Irish premiere at ADIFF 27th February 2018

9th November 2018


On a glaring, hot day Tom, 17, walks out of an immense forest into the lives of a strictly devout Christian community carving out a remote existence in central Europe. He seems to have come from nowhere. The only physical sign of his life before is the wound on his torso that refuses to heal.

CAST: Vincent Romeo, Lars Brygmann, Clara Rugaard

“a film that is both visually striking and unsettling in tone”

Read Dakota Heveron’s review here


For Molly (Cathal Kenna)

5th November 2018

The story of a young Irish couple ‘Evan and Laura’, engaged to be married and preparing for the arrival of their first child ‘Molly’ when a shock cancer diagnosis arrives out of the blue to Evan.

CAST: Maura Foley, Kieran O’Reilly


Katie (Ross Whitaker)

26th October

Featuring the legendary Irish boxer Katie Taylor on her quest to change the game of women’s boxing yet again after a professionally devastating year.

“A fantastic piece of cinema”

Read Gemma Creagh’s review here


The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid (Feargal Ward)

19th October 2018

Kildare farmer Thomas Reid lives a solitary life on the fringes of mainstream society, but beyond the walls of his 18th century farm sits an American factory – vital to the national economy but long an unsettling presence in Thomas’ life. Suspicious of intrusion, Thomas didn’t welcome the State agents who come to inquire about his house and lands. He vowed to resist.


Rosie (Paddy Breathnach)

12th October 2018

The story of a mother trying to protect her family after their landlord sells their rented home and they become homeless. Over 36 hours, Rosie and her partner John Paul strive to find somewhere to stay while shielding their young family from the reality of the situation around them.

CAST: Sarah Greene, Moe Dunford

“a beautiful film which is bound to make audiences angry”

Read David Deignan’s review here


Under the Clock (Colm Nicell)

5th October 2018

Tells the stories of a whole generation of people whose relationships and unique destiny began with a meeting under one of Ireland’s most iconic meeting places, Clerys clock.

“Nicell has surpassed himself with this wonderful documentary”

Read June Butler’s review here


The Meeting (Alan Gilsenan)

28th September 2018

During an emotional and highly charged encounter, a young rape victim seeks answers to questions which have haunted her since her attack. The woman is determined the experience will not deny her the right to personal freedoms as she endeavours to find some form of closure. The film is based upon a real-life encounter between a rape victim and her attacker upon his prison release.

 “pure visceral cinema”

Read Cian Geoghegan’s review here


John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea for Peace (Marc Boudignon, David Naglieri)

21st September 2018

In the fall of 1979, John Paul II was one year into a transformative papacy filled with hope and dynamism. Northern Ireland was a decade into the Troubles, a bloody conflict that shrouded all of Ireland in gloom.


The Little Stranger (Lenny Abrahamson)

21st September 2018

Dr. Faraday, the son of a housemaid, has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1947, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries and is now in decline.  But Mrs Ayres, and her two grown children, Caroline  and Roddy, are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life.  When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how terrifyingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own.

CAST: Charlotte Rampling, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter

” lures viewers in with one thing, but delivers something different”

Read Stephen Porzio’s review here


A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot (Sinéad O’Shea)

14th September 2018

A documentary exploring a broken community in Northern Ireland, scratches the surface of a staunchly republican populace and exposes how they take the law into their own hands.

“compelling, challenging and at times chilling”

Read Siomha McQuinn’s review here


Black 47 (Lance Daly)

Irish premiere at ADIFF 21st February 2018

7th September

Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the drama follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family. Despite experiencing the horrors of war, he is shocked by the famine’s destruction of his homeland and the brutalization of his people and his family.

CAST: Barry Keoghan, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent

 “a rollicking western with fantastic action and excellent performances”

Read Sarah Cullen’s review here


I, Dolours (Maurice Sweeney)

31st August 2018

One woman’s story of life and death in the IRA, for whom the Good Friday Agreement brought no peace of mind. A member of a crack, secret IRA unit run by Gerry Adams, Dolours Price led the first team to bomb the centre of London in 1973. Before this, she was a central figure in one of the most notorious and controversial IRA operations of The Troubles: the murder and dumping into unmarked graves of people whose violent deaths the IRA wished to keep secret – the so-called ‘disappeared’.

“A fascinating portrait of a compelling and complex figure in Irish history served well by a skilfully crafted piece of Irish filmmaking”

Read Gemma Creagh’s review here


Massacre at Ballymurphy (Callum Macrae)

30th  August 2018

Tells the unknown story of the death of eleven innocent people at the hands of the British Army in a Catholic estate in Belfast in 1971.


Lost & Found (Liam O Mochain)

13th July 2018

7 interconnecting stories set in and around a lost & found office of an Irish train station.  All segments are inspired by true stories, share a theme of something lost or found and characters that come in and out of each other’s lives.

CAST: Norma Sheahan, Liam Carney, Aoibhin Garrihy, Anthony Morris, Seamus HughesLiam O Mochain, Brendan Conroy, Barbara Adair, Sean Flanagan, Mary McEvoy, Diarmuid Noyes, Lynette Callaghan, Olga Wehrly, Daniel Costelloe, Donncha Crowley

“a jaunty gem”

Read Gemma Creagh’s review here 


Mary Shelley (Haifaa Al-Mansour)

6th July 2018

Mary Wollstonecraft’s family disapproves when she and poet Percy Shelley announce their love for each other. The family is horrified when it finds that the couple has eloped, accompanied by Mary’s half-sister, Claire. While staying in the home of Lord Byron at Lake Geneva, the guests are challenged to write a ghost story, which leads Mary to conceive her novel Frankenstein.

CAST: Maisie Williams, Elle Fanning, Bel Powley


Dublin Old School (Dave Tynan)

29th June 2018

Over a drug-fuelled lost weekend in Dublin, Jason, a wannabe DJ reconnects with his estranged homeless brother Daniel, a recovering addict.

CAST: Emmet Kirwan,  Ian Lloyd Anderson

“will have you sucking on your soother necklace”

Read Gemma Creagh’s review here


Kissing Candice (Aoife McArdle)

Irish Premiere @ ADIFF 2018

In cinemas 22nd June 2018

A 17-year-old who longs to escape the boredom of her seaside town, only finding solace in her vivid imagination. When a boy she dreams about turns up in real life, she becomes increasingly entangled with a dangerous local gang.

CAST: Ann Skelly, Ryan Lincoln

“a visual thrill”

Read Emma Donnelly’s review here


The Breadwinner (Nora Twomey)

Irish premiere at ADIFF 22nd February 2018

In cinemas 25th May 2018

Based on the best-selling children’s novel by Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner tells the story of 11 year old Parvana who gives up her identity to provide for her family and try to save her father’s life. Parvana’s father Nurullah had told stories about history and imagination to Parvana as she helped him in the marketplace of Taliban controlled Kabul in the year 2001. When he is arrested Parvana finds the courage to look for him when everyone else had given up hope. She becomes a storyteller, remembering a brother she has once known. Every day is a challenge as Parvana tries to bring home enough food and water to support her mother, sister and little brother. She meets a fellow girl in disguise called Shauzia and together, they form a bond that will give them the strength to endure the war that comes to their doorstep in the Fall of 2001.

CAST: Saara Chaudry, Soma Chhaya, Noorin Gulamgaus

“The film’s commitment and endearment to the power of storytelling is self-evidently proved by the rousing emotions it provokes”

Read Cian Geoghegan’s review here


Citizen Lane (Thaddeus O’Sullivan)

18th May 2018

A mix of documentary and drama that delivers a vivid and compelling portrait of Hugh Lane, one of the most fascinating and yet enigmatic figures in modern Irish history.  A man of multiple contradictions, by turns infuriatingly parsimonious or extraordinarily generous, a professed nationalist and a knight of the realm; a monumental snob and a fearless campaigner for access to the arts.


A Cambodian Spring ( Chris Kelly)

In cinemas 4th May 2018

An intimate and unique portrait of three people caught up in the chaotic and often violent development that is shaping modern-day Cambodia. Shot over six years, the film charts the growing wave of land-rights protests that led to the “Cambodian spring” and the tragic events that followed. This film is about the complexities – both political and personal, of fighting for what you believe in.

“a call to wakefulness and action”

Read Marie Flood’s review here


The Zoo (Colin McIvor)

In cinemas 4th May 2018


In 1941 marksmen from the Royal Ulster Constabulary, following a Directive from The Ministry of Public Security, shot dead 23 animals at Belfast Zoo. They destroyed one hyena, six wolves, one puma, one tiger, one black bear, one Barbary lion, two polar bears, one lynx and giant rat named Hugo. During these turbulent times, a woman secretly walked a young elephant from the zoo each evening to the backyard of her terraced home. There, she cared for and comforted it as the Luftwaffe bombs rained down over Belfast. This is a true story… and our setting for Zoo.

Seen through the eyes of 10 year old Tom, aided and abetted by his misfit friends, this moving adventure unfolds as Tom takes on the fight to save Buster the elephant.

Cast: Toby Jones, Ian McElhinney, Penelope Wilton


The Delinquent Season (Mark O’Rowe)

Irish premiere at ADIFF 3rd March 2018

In cinemas 27th April 2018

A tense drama which revolves around two couples in suburban Dublin – Jim and Danielle and Yvonne and Chris. On paper, they both appear to live in marital bliss, until an altercation between one couple occurs and cracks begin to appear in both of these seemingly steady marriages.

CAST: Cillian Murphy, Andrew Scott, Eva Birthistle

“a detailed and realistic examination into the outcomes of tampering with monogamy and married life”

Read Irene Falvey’s review here


The Cured (David Freyne)

Irish premiere at ADIFF 25th February 2018

In cinemas 20th April 2018

Senan has been through hell. When the plague swept across Ireland he was among the thousands afflicted and rendered into rabid ghouls. Senan did horrible things he cannot forget — and neither can the public, nor the authorities charged with policing those released from captivity. Senan’s sister-in-law Abbie, however, is willing to give him a second chance. She lets him live with her and her young son, believing that Senan’s actions while infected were beyond his control. But as an angry anti-cured movement burgeons in tandem with an increasingly radicalized pro-cured movement, Abbie is forced to question just how far her trust should be pushed.

CAST: Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor

“a unique and engaging reworking of an enduring genre”

Read Cathy Butler’s review here


Making The Grade (Ken Wardrop)

In Cinemas 13th April 2018

This documentary invites us into the world of the piano lesson. Every year teachers and students throughout Ireland prepare for graded musical exams. These exams can be pleasing for some but daunting for others. Each student has their own particular goal but reaching Grade Eight is considered a pinnacle Making The Grade explores the bond between piano teachers and their pupils as they struggle through these grades.

“stylistically-striking and impeccably-shot”

Read Siomha McQuinn’s review here


I Kill Giants (Anders Walter)

6th April 2018

A teenager must face her worst fears in increasingly dangerous ways when horrible giants threaten to destroy her small town.

CAST: Madison Wolfe, Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, Sydney Wade


Michael Inside (Frank Berry)

Irish premiere at Cork Film Festival 16th November 2017 

In cinemas 6th April 2018

The tale of Michael, a luckless 18-year-old who is misfortunate to be sent to prison. Vulnerable and alone, Michael is taken under the wing of a score-settling older prisoner.

CAST: Dafhyd Flynn, Lalor Roddy, Moe Dunford

“Dafhyd Flynn delivers an understated, emotional performance as Michael. Quiet and contemplative, his vulnerability is made evident as his incarceration looms”

Read Loretta Goff’s review here


Unless (Alan Gilsenan)

Irish premiere at ADIFF 22nd February 2017 

In cinemas 16th March 2018

Reta Winters has many reasons to be happy.  Suddenly, all the quiet satisfactions of her well-lived life disappear in a moment when her eldest daughter Norah inexplicably drops out of college and is found on a Toronto street corner, pan-handling and refusing to speak, holding a cardboard sign reading GOODNESS.

Cast: Catherine Keener, Hannah Gross, Hanna Schygulla, Brendan Coyle

“works best as a commentary on the modern view of women’s writing “

Read Sarah Cullen’s review here


Damo & Ivor: The Movie (Rob Burke, Ronan Burke)

Irish premiere at ADIFF 2nd March 2018

In Cinemas 16th March 2018

Damo and Ivor embark on the mother of all adventures to find the last piece of their family puzzle and track down their long lost brother, John Joe. The adventure takes the brothers across Ireland where they discover that sometimes you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Cast: Andrew Quirke


The Lodgers (Brian O’Malley)

Irish premiere at Cork Film Festival 12th November 2017 

In cinemas 9th March 2018

Set 1920’s, rural Ireland, Anglo Irish twins Rachel and Edward share a strange existence in their crumbling family estate. Each night, the property becomes the domain of a sinister presence which enforces three rules upon the twins: they must be in bed by midnight; they  may not permit an outsider past the threshold; if one attempts to escape, the life of the other is placed in jeopardy. When troubled war veteran Sean returns to the nearby village, he is immediately drawn to the mysterious Rachel, who in turn begins to break the rules set out by The Lodgers. The consequences pull Rachel into a deadly confrontation with her brother – and with the curse that haunts them.

CAST: Charlotte Vega, David Bradley, Moe Dunford

“stunning visual style, gothic-drenched atmosphere and strong acting by the two leads”

Read Loretta Goff’s review here


 

If you have a film set for release in cinemas this year and would like us to feature it, email filmireland@gmail.com

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