Timmy Sugrue is a persecuted guesthouse keeper and writer who lives with his mad mother in a very rainy part of the Irish midlands. His only consolation are his visits to Dr. Drudy, a ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Diana de Brie
Dr. Drudy
Jeananne Crowley ...
Mrs. Emily Drudy
Joan O'Hara ...
Timmy's Mother
Alison McKenna ...
Dancing Girl
Eoghan O'Riada ...


Timmy Sugrue is a persecuted guesthouse keeper and writer who lives with his mad mother in a very rainy part of the Irish midlands. His only consolation are his visits to Dr. Drudy, a psychiatrist whom he can tell about the love of his life - the President of Ireland. A new motorway puts Timmy's guesthouse off the map. a strange Spanish pilot called marcel comes to visit and create havoc in the guesthouse. Timmy goes to a scriptwriters' conference where only fast, urban and up-beat stories are expected, nothing like Timmy's own story. Uneasy in any of the four provinces of Ireland, he desperately tries to reach the Fifth Province, the province of magic, of passion, of possibility. Written by Jean Lejuez <travelling.cherbourg@wanadoo.fr>

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18 October 1997 (France)  »

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A superb comedy with a hint of the black stuff
25 September 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I was lucky enough to catch this film on a trip to Dublin. Doubly so in fact because not only is it absolutely fantastic but it is also virtually impossible to find. It is, in the South Park mould "a foreign film" from Ireland and so has, even in England, been consigned it appears to the video pit of despair.

This is an enormous shame because this is a uniquely Irish film without any of the baggage that this would usually imply. Or rather the film cheerfully acknowledges Irish cinematic stereotypes and then proceeds to hit them with a stick.

Timmy, the protagonist, is a somewhat confused young man who regularly seeks guidance from his doctor mentor played spectacularly by the wonderful Ian Richardson (why doesn't he get more film work?). He lives in (I kid you not) the Bates Motel with his mother and dreams of being a writer. His books are however too self-consciously Irish, his writing teacher tells him and thus too misery filled and angsty for popular consumption in the 90's.

Timmy is forced to rethink his own life (sort of) and the world around him and try to free himself from the grip of the strongest of all forces, that of the force of habit.

I will not apologise for essentially having had to lie a lot during that synopsis because to reveal the main element of the plot would be to ruin the entire film. Suffice to say there is an element of the Shining here, albeit far more relaxed and beautifully realised. This is essentially a comedy with a hint of the black stuff (stylistically rather than alcoholically).

The Fifth Province is a rare example of a film which does everything it sets out to do with elan, it is funny, looks gorgeous, has an excellent cast, a good soundtrack and has a premise which is unexpected and deftly handled. I would give quite a bit to see this film again. I urge you to brave the uncharted wildernesses of your video shops and seek it out and if you do - can I have a copy?

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