Irish Feature in Oscar Nominations

Saoirse Ronan has been nominated in the Best Actress category in this year’s Academy Award Nominations for her performance in Lady Bird, which is also included in the Best Picture category.

Commenting on her nomination, Saoirse said, “To have been a part of a film like Lady Bird was a true privilege and I am incredibly grateful to the Academy for recognizing this wonderful story about the beauty and strength of women.  I am especially thrilled to share this moment with Laurie Metcalf and our leader and director Greta Gerwig, who, like Lady Bird, is an incredible woman and a dear friend.”

Cartoon Saloon’s The Breadwinner, directed by Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo, picked up a nomination for Best Animated Feature.

Consolata Boyle has been nominated for Costume Design for her work on Victoria & Abdul. It is her third Academy Award Nomination.

The British and Irish actor Daniel Day Lewis picked up a nomination for his work in The Phantom Thread. The film is also included in the Best Picture and Director category.

The London-Irish writer/director Martin McDonagh has been nominated for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.

The 90th Academy Awards takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on 4th March  2018.

 

The full list of nominations:

  • Best Picture

    'Get Out'
‘Get Out’
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Call Me by Your Name
Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, Producers

Darkest Hour
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

Dunkirk
Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

Get Out
Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, Producers

Lady Bird
Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O’Neill, Producers

Phantom Thread
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, Producers

The Post
Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers

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Review: Lady Bird

Ahead of its February release here, and to celebrate Saoirse Ronan’s Golden Globe win, James Bartlett takes a look at Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.

 

The state capital of California, Sacramento is a tree-rich hipster place for many, but when you’re a broke tantrummy teenager stuck in a Catholic school with low grades and a University place well off the table, the location is unimportant.

17-year-old teenager Christine (Ronan) hates her hometown, and insists on being called “Lady Bird,” much to the chagrin of her stressed-out, ever-worrying mother Marion (Metcalf). They argue constantly, and – unknown to Lady Bird – things are close to crisis in their blended family home as dad Larry (Letts) looks like he’s about to get laid off.

Meanwhile, Lady Bird nevertheless has fun with her bestie Julie (Feldstein), and when they join the school musical and Lady Bird falls for Danny (Hedges), things are looking up – though spending Thanksgiving with Danny’s well-to-do family upsets her mum no end.

They argue more, and when Lady Bird loses her virginity to roll-up smoking pseudo-intellectual Kyle (Chalamet), who is very much part of the cool clique, poor Julie gets dumped like a hot potato.

Lady Bird then learns she’s on the waiting list for a university in New York, and sets out happily for the big year-ending prom with Kyle and his pals – but is that how she wants this period of her life to end?

A coming-of-age tale that takes place in 2002 – long before teenagers lost themselves on their phones – the directorial debut of Gerwig was originally a mammoth-length script that she says wasn’t autobiographical, even though she was born in Sacramento.

It certainly shows that Gerwig is a young talent well on the up. She’s been acclaimed for both her writing and acting already, and is getting plaudits here too. Ronan is also getting nods for her performance, walking that fine line of being empathetic and real, annoying and showboaty, and sometimes rather loveable – all while being an often-irritating teenager.

Metcalf – better known for her extensive award-winning work on the stage and as sister Jackie in the many series of “Roseanne” – is great too, mixing the overbearingness of a parent with subtle moments that allow her to be more than just Lady Bird’s greatest critic; the airport scene was a tear-jerker.

Either way, Lady Bird is a great entry in what’s a tricky genre: strong performances from the entire cast, a crisp, dramatic, emotional and amusing script, and a fluid directorial style that makes full use of the locations and indeed makes you change your mind about Sacramento (just like Lady Bird does).

Lady Bird is in cinemas 23rd February.

 

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Saoirse Ronan Wins Best Actress Award at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Emory Cohen as "Tony" and Saoirse Ronan as "Eilis" in BROOKLYN. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Saoirse Ronan has won the Best Actress Award at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for her performance in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn has taken over €19 million in the US and €2.6 million in Ireland to date.

Directed by John Crowley and adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Tóibín’s novel, Brooklyn is the story of a young woman, Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) who moves from small town Ireland to Brooklyn, NY where, unlike home, she has the opportunity for work and for a future – and love, in the form of Italian-American Tony (Emory Cohen). When a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, she finds herself absorbed into her old community, but now with eligible Jim (Domhnall Gleeson) courting her. As she repeatedly postpones her return to America, Eilis finds herself confronting a terrible dilemma – a heart-breaking choice between two men and two countries.

Brooklyn was produced by Wildgaze Films, Finola Dwyer Productions, Parallel Films and Item 7 and was funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, the BAI, RTÉ, BBC, Telefilm and the BFI.

 

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Irish Nominations for Golden Globes

 

saoirse_ronan

The nominations for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards have been announced with a number of Irish featured amongst the nominations. Lenny Abrahamson’s Room was nominated in the category of Best Motion Picture. Emma Donoghue was nominated for Best Screenplay for Room, which she adapted from her own award-winning book. And Brie Larson made it a hat trick of nominations for Room with her nomination in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture.

Saoirse Ronan was also nominated in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture alongside Larson for her performance in Brooklyn.

Michael Fassbender was nominated in the category of Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance in Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs. Caitriona Balfe received a nomination in the category of Best Actress in a TV series for Outlander. Also in this category is Eva Green, nominated for her role in Penny Dreadful, which was shot on location in Dublin.

The 73rd Golden Globe Awards will take place on January 10th 2016 in Beverly Hills California.

 

The full list of 2016 Golden Globe award nominations:

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Best Motion Picture, Comedy
The Big Short
Joy
The Martian
Spy
Trainwreck

Best Director – Motion Picture
Todd Haynes, Carol
Alejandro Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max
Ridley Scott, The Martian

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Melissa McCarthy, Spy
Amy Schumer, Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda, Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Will Smith, Concussion

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Steve Carell, The Big Short
Matt Damon, The Martian
Al Pacino, Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best TV Series, Drama

Empire
Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot
Narcos
Outlander

Best TV Series, Comedy
Casual
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Veep

Best TV Movie or Limited-Series
American Crime
American Horror Story: Hotel
Fargo
Flesh and Bone
Wolf Hall

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, Narcos
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Emma Donoghue, Room
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Animated Feature Film
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Regina King, American Crime
Judith Light, Transparent
Maura Tierney, The Affair

Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens
Julia Louis Dreyfus, Veep
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Lilly Tomlin, Grace & Frankie

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelson, Bloodline
Tobias Menzies, Outlander
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Love Me Like You Do” 50 Shades of Grey
“One Kind of Love” Love and Mercy
“See You Again” Furious 7
“Simple Song No. 3” Youth
“Writing’s on the Wall” Spectre

 

 

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Video: Brooklyn Premiere

brooklyn

Lynn Larkin is on the red carpet at the Savoy Cinema in Dublin for Film Ireland and #FilmMe for the Irish premiere of Brooklyn.

Lynn chats to actor Saoirse Ronan (Eilis), director John Crowley, actor Jenn Murray (Dolores), actor Jane Brennan (Mary Lacey), screenwriter Nick Hornby, novelist Colm Tóibín, and producer Finola Dwyer.

Along the way Lynn partakes in a bit of Bono-spotting.

 

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Irish Film Review: Brooklyn

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DIR: John Crowley • WRI: Nick Hornby • PRO: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey • ED: Mick Mahon • DOP: Yves Bélanger • ED: Jake Roberts • MUS: Michael Brook • CAST: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Michael Zegen

Home is where the heart is for Enniscorthy girl Ellis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) but when she leaves Wexford to nurture a new life in New York her heart is split in two when a burgeoning romance and family ties clash in director John Crowley’s period drama Brooklyn, based on Colm Tóibin’s novel of the same name.

In 1950s Ireland, Ellis is sent across the big blue at the behest of her mother and older sister Rose to accept work proffered by family friend and Catholic priest Fr. Flood who also promises to set her up during her stay. Ellis is a mousy young woman who cuts a meagre figure on the Brooklyn bound ferry, a fish out of water floundering above and below deck with constant anxiety and seasickness. It’s not long before her travel savvy cabin mate takes pity and instructs her in everything from how to effectively negotiate shared toilet privileges on the boat to how she should present herself in the big city. When she applies lipstick to Ellis’s lithe lips we glimpse the woman she may well become after the life-changing year ahead of her.

On dry land Ellis practises, as advised, to think like an American, to walk with a purpose and to look like she knows where she’s going. Despite her obvious diffidence she pulls off the façade despite not knowing where she is going or what Brooklyn has in store for her.

Ronan inhabits the role of the naïve Ellis with aplomb and seemingly grows in stature as the narrative unfolds, like a flower opening towards the sun scene by scene. The New York of the 1950s is a little too polished in places but the detail certainly lends to the proceedings. What sticks out like a sore thumb, however, are the expressionistic flourishes that belie the understated style of the film’s source material. For example the moment Ellis crosses the threshold into the unknown is personified as a doorway awash with blinding white light that leads from the passport office to her new homestead, the entrance of which is accentuated in gratuitous slow motion. These moments, thankfully few and far between, are distracting and superfluous in an otherwise faultless set-up.

When she’s not struggling to make small talk with the fast-talking, fast-living Americans at her work in a high-end department store, Ellis passes her time slinking away from the meal time gossip fuelled by the boarding house matriarch Mrs Kehoe (Julie Walters) and her yappy tenants. These comedic interludes are a welcome diversion from the main narrative seeking to highlight the sensibilities of the time with particular gusto from the players especially Cavan girl Dolores (Jenn Murray) whose skittish deer-in-the-headlights performance threatens to steal the show.

The show is a romantic one after all so before Ellis can buckle under the weight of her homesickness she meets the dark and daring Italian plumber Tony (Emory Cohen) on the lookout for Irish girls at the local ceili. The courtship that follows is suitably “aw” inducing and full of first-love festivity but once again the real delights are served around the dinner table when Ellis is introduced to Tony’s family only to be scrutinised by younger brother Frankie who’s intent upon saying the wrong thing with impeccable comic timing.

Just as everything appears to be going swimmingly (in a fetching green swimsuit no less) news from back home threatens to upset all hopes of a happy ever after. Ellis returns to Wexford the talk of the town all grown up and glamorous looking for an unfortunate visit but a new job prospect, familial duty and the advances of a convenient catch add up to what could become a permanent stay if her friends and family have their way. The tension of this quietly chaotic conundrum, were everyone seems to know Ellis’s next step before she does, elevates the conventional drama. She keeps Tony a secret and when local boy Farrell (Domhnall Gleeson) enters the fray promising a comfortable life Ellis is forced to follow her heart to find her true home.

Brooklyn may capture the hearts and minds of its audience as its age-old story is lovingly crafted but its overt concern with glorifying the past in copious studio light and overwrought musical accompaniment downgrades the experience somewhat. Crowley guides us through the narrative with precision but it’s a performance-driven film and the ensemble cast, especially the chemistry between Ronan and Cohen, deserve any and all accolade.

Anthony Assad

12A

111 minutes

Brooklyn is released 6th November 2015

Brooklyn – Official Website

 

 

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Cinema Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

the-grand-budapest-hotel-owen-wilson-636-380

DIR: Wes Anderson • WRI: Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness • PRO: Steven M. Rales, Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Wes Anderson • DOP: Robert D. Yeoman • ED: Barney Pilling • MUS: Alexandre Desplat • DES: Adam Stockhausen • CAST: Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton

 

It’s safe to say that ever since his third feature, the irresistibly charming and endearing The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson has managed to establish himself as one of the most distinguishable and idiosyncratic directors in contemporary American cinema. In the past decade, Anderson has taken us from on board an eccentric oceanographer’s submarine while he seeks revenge on a glow-in-the-dark shark, to a luxury train travelling across India whilst three brothers seek spiritual enlightenment, to the tale of an anthropomorphic fox as he outsmarts three dim-witted farmers, and then to a fictional island off the coast of New England where two love-struck teenagers decide to elope after meeting at an amateur performance of Noye’s Fludde. As a result of this exceptionally offbeat aesthetic, his trademark dry wit, Anderson has won critical acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic, and there are certainly not many modern directors whose films can create such an air of anticipation amongst the more cine-literate of regular cinema attendees.

His eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is certainly no exception and on this occasion, Anderson delves into the fantastical world of Mittel-Europa and takes inspiration from Stefan Zweig, the late Austrian writer who rose to prominence in the 1920s and 1930s before fleeing the continent as a result of the Second World War. The film however, is not a direct adaptation of anything in particular from Zweig’s body of work; instead, Anderson has seemingly infused his latest feature with several techniques and principles that are rooted in Zweig’s oeuvre. As a result, Anderson has created a film that will not only please his legions of followers; it might also have the power to sway even the most cynical of Anderson’s detractors.

The film begins with a young girl silently paying her respects to a memorial stone bust of an author famous for his book, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. From there, Anderson takes us back in time to the author’s experiences whilst staying at the hotel, located in an alpine resort in the fictional European principality of Zubrowka, and his relationship with one of the hotel’s most frequent guests, Zero Moustafa (played with gravitas by F. Murray Abraham). The aging Zero recounts to the author (Jude Law) his days working as a lobby boy in the hotel in the 1930s; back when the Grand Budapest was a lavish and opulent palace, full of decadent ornamentations and rich, vibrant decors, and back when it attracted only the most esteemed and refined individuals. It is here where we are introduced to the human embodiment of the sophisticated and flamboyant surroundings, one Gustave H (an extraordinary turn by Ralph Fiennes who showcases his little-known talent for comedy), the loquacious concierge who has a penchant for seducing the more senior female guests, and who takes the young, pencil-moustachio’d Zero under his wing. After one of Gustave’s former flings bequeaths a valuable Renaissance painting to him in her will, her discontented family, headed by Adrien Brody, do everything in their power to deprive Gustave of the prized, ‘Boy with Apple’.

With The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson seems to be not so concerned with history, but with the history of cinema; we can see references to Kubrick and F.W. Murnau, and the plot descends into an elaborate caper full of bizarre character studies, wondrous sequences (including a superb cat-and-mouse chase where Gustave and Zero zoom down a precarious mountain atop a toboggan in pursuit of Willem Dafoe on skis), and meticulously-designed, glamorous sets that are reminiscent of the traits of classical Hollywood films and murder-mysteries.  Anderson retains many of the unique characteristics and oddities that have come to epitomise his aesthetic, with added bursts of black humour, and moments of subtle melancholy and poignancy.

Such is the power of the fantastical images that they seem to possess an almost-ethereal quality, and by the time the film enters its final third, you find yourself daydreaming, completely lost in Anderson’s whimsical universe. While the tone remains relatively light-hearted throughout, the film’s more melancholic moments catch you off guard, but that’s not to say they are contrived or overly-sentimental; it’s a testament to Anderson’s skill  and ability that he can create moments of intense sadness in a film such as this without drowning them in affect.

With The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson has proven that he is undoubtedly a master of his craft and that he is currently at the peak of his powers. While many critics have found his films fastidious and favouring style over substance, the same can simply not be said about his latest. He has created a film that is utterly captivating, endlessly enjoyable, and so awe-inspiring, that it invites viewers to return again and again; if not for the gloriously detailed compositions, then for the magnificent performances from the ensemble cast, the rich characterisation, and the strangely moving ending that will linger long in the mind.

Gearóid Gilmore

15A (See IFCO for details)
109  mins

The Grand Budapest Hotel is released on 7th March 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Official Website

 

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