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.
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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
Bleak portrait of a community trapped in a violent circle.
The Boxer is an excellent film in almost all its aspects. The acting is quite good across the board, especially Emily Watson and Brian Cox. The cinematography is often stunning, especially in the way it uses the cold and minimalist color palette. There's a palatable sense of tension that flows throughout the picture, made more taut by the various directing techniques used by Jim Sheridan. One technique is the shots from the helicopters that circle above Belfast, showing a community that is under siege and giving a greater perspective on what it's like to live in this part of the city. And there are three parts to the story, all of which work very well. There's the story of Danny's release from prison and his attempt to start a boxing club. There's the romance between him and Emily Watson, a romance that is forbidden by I.R.A. codes. And then there's the I.R.A. themselves, struggling to find peace but being broken apart from within by leaders of splinter factions. A very moving film (with a great score by Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer as well) and a film that really addresses the issues of neverending violence in a very direct and emotional way.
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