Title – The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)
Director – Martin McDonagh (In Bruges)
Cast – Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan
Plot – In 1923, on the small Irish island of Inisherin, two long time friends Pádraic Súilleabháin (Farrell) and Colm Doherty (Gleeson) find themselves estranged when Colm lets Pádraic know he no longer wants to be associated with him.
“I do worry sometimes I might just be entertaining myself while staving off the inevitable”
Review by Eddie on 11/01/2023
A quiet, softly spoken dramedy that ventures into darker and more sombre territory as the runtime wears on, writer/director Martin McDonagh’s newest venture that reunites his In Bruges leading men Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, is a worthy Oscar frontrunner that allows its mastermind further chances to shine on the big stage while giving its lead ensemble a solid chance at cleaning up their respective categories at many a major awards ceremony.
Set in 1923 during one of the various Irish civil wars that was taking place at that time, with The Banshees of Inisherin McDonagh transports us to the small island of Inisherin where two long time friends, Farrell’s kindly but simple Pádraic Súilleabháin and Gleeson’s moody and contemplative music loving Colm Doherty, find themselves at an awkward impasse when Colm lets Pádraic know that he no longer wants to be friends with him, making waves in their small community and throwing the two polar opposite souls into a whirlwind of long lasting consequences and life changing moments.
As has been the case with his previous works that includes the slightly off the boil Seven Psychopaths and the brilliantly realised Oscar winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDonagh’s innate ability with words and drawing out strong performances is on show again here with Banshees arguably his most well-rounded feature yet that is is wonderfully captured by DOP Ben Davis and scored by frequent Coen brothers collaborator Carter Burwell, combining with the on-song cast to give audiences one of the the most complete cinematic packages that was delivered in 2022.
Running hot over the last few years in one of the most impressive career comebacks of the modern era, Banshee’s gives Colin Farrell his best chance yet at Oscar glory with a fantastically layered character in Pádraic.
Standing out amongst a talented cast, Farrell is as good as his ever been as the sincere and insecure local farmer and being supported by Gleeson, the glowing Kerry Condon as Pádraic’s long-suffering sister Siobhán and a scene-stealing Barry Keoghan as local village trouble maker Dominic Kearney allows the well-liked Hollywood actor a perfect platform to showcase his talents with Banshees a genuine chance to see its four main performers sweep in a rare acting category bonanza come the soon to be held Academy Awards.
As much of a pleasure as it is to see McDonagh at work once more, his actors ply their trades and enjoy a film that is unpredictable and entirely unique, it’s hard too know if Banshee’s metaphorical narrative and somewhat unresolved finale will work for all as there is likely to be a not so insignificant amount of audiences that don’t connect with this character driven tale the way in which others will lap up every minute and at days end Banshees may be a joy to watch unfold for most but its not a film filled with deep or long-lasting impressions.
Final Say –
A film that is likely to find itself on the Oscar main stage in multiple facets, The Banshees of Inisherin offers up an acting/writing masterclass that in turn produces one of the most original and interesting films of the last few years.
4 1/2 bread vans out of 5