6.4/10
56
2 user 3 critic

I Could Read the Sky (1999)

The film tells of the memories and feeling of loss of an Irish immigrant who eventually winds up doing construction work in the anonymous cities of England.

Director:

(as Nichola Bruce)

Writers:

(as Nicola Bruce), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dermot Healy ...
The Old Man
...
P.J.
...
Francie
...
Maggie
Jake Williams ...
Young boy
Roy Larkin ...
Young Joe
Lisa O'Reilly ...
Kate Creevy
Sezzso ...
Uncle Rosco
Rachael Pilkington ...
Young Eileen
Aidan O'Toole ...
Dermot
Colm O'Maonlai ...
Martin
Jimmy McGreevy ...
Da
Pat McGrath ...
Farmer Casey
Liam O'Maonlai ...
Joe
Noel O'Donovan ...
Tailor
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Storyline

The film tells of the memories and feeling of loss of an Irish immigrant who eventually winds up doing construction work in the anonymous cities of England.

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

27 October 2000 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Got me a movie I want you to know, slicing up pigs heads, I want you to know...
25 August 2000 | by See all my reviews

This is a beautifully made and passionately felt movie, but a harrowing one to watch. I couldn't decide whether it was the director's intention to make the viewer suffer as much as I did while watching it in order to make us feel the main protagonists pain, or if he just lacks a sense of dramatic tension, but it's such a beautiful film visually that I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

It concerns a man who follows the familiar road from rural Ireland to British building sites. Filmed in a mixture of monologue and POV, it conveys a sense of the alienation and deracination which many people in his position would have felt. At first he seems like a simpleton, but the film's attempts to give him a tragic grandeour aren't entirely successful. The symbolism is often apposite; the scenes of animal slaughter at the beginning give him an earthy quality of which he is robbed by the time he reaches the urban wastelands of the English inner cities where he works.

The film's main weakness is that it's protagonist's monotonous delivery becomes grating after a while. I saw a monologue by African dissident George Serembra that was simaler in many ways to this but was carried by his stylistic variety. By the end of this film I was almost begging the lead character to leave me alone.

For all it's faults, this is a much more honest picture of recent Irish history than most of the Paddywhackery that passes for such in US multiplexes.


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