Widowed Kieran Johnson is a lonely, middle-aged, Chicago-based high school history teacher who feels disconnected to his life. He decides to take a trip to his mother's small old hometown ... See full summary »
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An impoverished woman who has been forced to choose between a privileged life with her wealthy aunt and her journalist lover, befriends an American heiress. When she discovers the heiress is attracted to her own lover and is dying, she sees a chance to have both the privileged life she cannot give up and the lover she cannot live without.
Helena Bonham Carter,
Widowed Kieran Johnson is a lonely, middle-aged, Chicago-based high school history teacher who feels disconnected to his life. He decides to take a trip to his mother's small old hometown of Kilronan, County Galway, Ireland after he discovers an old photograph of her, she who now cannot speak due to a stroke, with a man he has never seen. He suspects this man may be his biological father. On the urging of his sister, Kieran takes his teen-aged nephew Jack on the trip. In Kilronan, Mrs. Kearney, the innkeeper's mother and a bit of a gypsy woman who has lived in the area for the better part of her life, tells Kieran and Jack about life in the town in 1939 when a high-spirited Fiona Flynn, Kieran's mother, started seeing a peat farmer named Kieran O'Day. Kieran O'Day grew up a "poorhouse bastard", and as such he was always shy and considered an outsider amongst the townsfolk. Because of his standing in the community and the differences in their ages (she being only seventeen, he in his ... Written by
So what do you want?
Tonight I asked God to help me forget you. I prayed all night trying to get you out of my mind. But you were all that filled it. I tried to remember what it was like before you... I couldn''t remember. I tried to imagine what it would be like without you... and nothing came to me. I love you. That''s the truth. I love you. And it scares me. It scares me because everyone seems so dead set against us. But I want you to know, that if you'll have me, I'll be your man. I'll give...
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Although this tragic valentine is mostly the labour of love of the Brothers Quinn (Aidan, Declan, and Paul), James Caan excels even more with what should have been a thankless role. As the teacher and uncle spurred on a search for his roots after discovering an old picture of his mother with an unknown man, Caan lends subtle dimensionality and nuances that ring true on every chord. The Irish countryside is lovingly filmed. But Paul Quinn never really decided whether this was a slice-of-life or an epic. He had many stories he wanted to tell, and ran out of time to conclude most of them while wasting far too much screen time reinforcing what we already knew about Fiona's stereotypical propertied widow mother and the kindly farmer with the somewhat shrewish wife who adopted Aidan Quinn's character, Kieron. The actor playing Father Morton also failed to supply new insights after his initial appearance. Stephen Rea is brilliant in a cameo as a fire-and-brimstone visiting priest. John Cusack adds a brief touch of magic, but adds nothing to the narrative. Moya Farrelly scores big in her cinematic debut as Quinn's love interest. Their chemistry is electric. All the townspeople are believably played and the music is marvelous. But it is annoying that the curses are colorfully bestowed and given interesting beginnings, but we never are let in on the final fate of the widow. More annoying still is being introduced to the nephew's turbulent yet loving familial relationships, watch a parallel develop, and then dropped. What effect does all this have on Kieren's sister, the boy's mother, who is equally entrenched emotionally in the search, but disappears without payoff?
Overall, this is well worth seeing. It might have been better with more experienced editing and directing, and perhaps, a crisper script. Yet, flaws and all, it remains enjoyable on its own terms.
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