Traveling dentist O'Connell traverses South America on his motorcycle for the 'Eversmile' foundation of New Jersey, in a fight not only against caries, but also against fear, ignorance, ... See full summary »
Famous film director Guido Contini struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.
Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his I.R.A. activities. Although he has not denounced the I.R.A. or denigrated his I.R.A. colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is nonsectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old I.R.A. colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old I.R.A. colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny. Maggie's father, Joe, also an I.R.A. activist, ... Written by
I really liked this film for several reasons. Firstly, it dares to tell the story of ordinary people caught up in a conflict that they don't want to be a part of, and having their best hopes crushed. The script isn't written to be a crowd-pleaser.
Secondly, the story and the style of narration is wonderfully subdued and lowkey, both fitting the story perfectly and allowing the viewer to really involve him/herself in the story and characters.
Finally, the performances of Day-Lewis and Watson are very good. Day-Lewis lends great credibility to his character. He is no Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford rising again with a firm jaw after each blow, but rather a believable portrait of a man believing and wanting to do his best, but time and time again having his hopes crushed.
But the real star performance of the film is by Watson. After "Breaking the Waves" I had written her off (sorry, but I tend to do that with people who have played in von Trier movies), but her performance in this film is simply outstanding. Her portrait of both pride, strength and vulnerability is amazing.
9 out of 10.
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