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In 1904, in Dublin, James Joyce chats up Nora Barnacle, a hotel maid recently come from Galway. She enchants him with her frank, direct and uninhibited manner, and before long, he's convinced her to come with him to Trieste, where he has a job with Berlitz. Over time, Nora pulls him through phobias, tolerates his drinking, takes in his brother Stan, and bests Joyce at 'the writin' game' to bring him back to Italy from Dublin where he's gone to open a cinema. But his sexual jealousy threatens the relationship and sends her back to Galway with the children. Is there any way to tame Jim's green-eyed monster? And, will the lad ever get his stories published? Written by
I have to say I was greatly surprised by the extremely low rating average on this film's IMDB listing page--I looked at the demographic breakdown and over half the votes are 5 and above, so how can it possibly be 2.8 average? I had the opportunity to view Nora overseas a couple of weeks ago and I must say I found it compelling, even though its focus confused me a little.
The storyline kind of went into full gear before we got to know the characters, but the performances of Ewan McGregor and Susan Lynch were both top notch. The relationship of James and Nora riveted me to my seat. They fought like dogs, but they were vibrant and passionate souls whose relationship endured all sorts of demons. Nora's soul was bared for the viewer and Susan Lynch made her one of the strongest female characters I can remember by giving Nora vulnerability as well as uncommon emotional strength. McGregor did a great job of helping me sympathize with Joyce, even when he was neurotic and treated his long time love terribly. I wish the beginning of their relationship had been presented more concretely, but McGregor and Lynch hooked me anyway. As it presented the events of their lives, Nora was top notch. Not for anyone who is an afficionado of actions films, that's for sure.
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