2019 proved to be another strong year for Irish film with over 30 films making their way to a cinema release. Starting strongly back in January with Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, a United Kingdom, Ireland & United States co-production which went on to make a worldwide box-office gross of $95.9 million. Not bad.
Below we pick our 10 favourites of the year – 5 feature films & 5 documentaries.
The films feature a girl’s fight for freedom in rural Ireland in the 1960s, a mother’s paranoid fear that her son may be something else, a boozy 44-year-old single mother becoming pregnant from a one-night-stand, a woman with supernatural abilities saving a possessed girl, and 2 long-time friends and party-lovers navigating life and love in Dublin.
The documentaries feature a family coming to terms with decades of institutional abuse, the life’s work of the “godfather of Irish electronica”, an 80-something bachelor farmer who invests his life savings in his own private flying machine, the everyday life of Gazan citizens, and a town sitting atop a melting permafrost, battered by coastal erosion and aggressive summer melt waters.
Float Like A Butterfly (DIR/WRI: Carmel Winters)
“captures humanity at its best and worst, offering a message of hope throughout.”
Hole in the Ground (DIR: Lee Cronin • WRI: Lee Cronin, Stephen Shields)
“superbly acted, lean and highly entertaining horror film, and a fine feature debut by Cronin”
A Bump Along The Way (DIR: Shelly Love • WRI: Tess Mcgowan)
” sweet and uplifting”
Extra Ordinary (DIR: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman • WRI: Mike Ahern, Demian Fox)
” builds its humour gently before finally reaching hysterical proportions in its final scenes”
Animals (DIR: Sophie Hyde • WRI: Emma Jane Unsworth)
“an exciting example of the female-centred, female-made content that is making waves across the film industry.”
Land Without God (Mannix Flynn, Maedhbh McMahon, Lotta Petronella)
“raw, emotional and unflinching”
The Curious Works of Roger Doyle (Brian Lally)
The Man Who Wanted to Fly (Frank Shouldice)
Gaza (Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell)
“With understanding and sympathy the filmmakers have managed to capture how the toils of war shape the lives of people who are trapped by it”
Losing Alaska (Tom Burke)
“essential and frightening viewing”