This drama is set in rural Ireland. Believing that "a man is measured by his enemies", Harry Maloney ('Colm Meany' ) sets out to ruin George O'Flaherty - the most powerful man in town, who ... See full summary »
This drama is set in rural Ireland. Believing that "a man is measured by his enemies", Harry Maloney ('Colm Meany' ) sets out to ruin George O'Flaherty - the most powerful man in town, who not only owns the local pub and most of the businesses in the area, but is also the local matchmaker. When Harry's son Gus(Cillian Murphy) - upon whom Harry regularly heaps abuse (mostly mental and verbal) - falls for the lovely Eileen, George helps get the two together during this time, Harry quietly mobilizes his dastardly plans. Written by
As an American, it took me a bit to get used to the language of rural Ireland in the 1920's, but this film draws you into a world that seems not at all foreign after a while. Unlike the relentlessly depressing "The Field", this is a drama of real tragedies - the small, silly tragedies that we create and that are created for us- and also, of real hope. The original Irish title of this film "How Harry Became a Tree" is so much more fitting than the US "Bitter Harvest" (what were they thinking?), though fortunately the brilliant allegory of the tree is not lost with the title change. Performances are universally outstanding and poignant, the photography beautiful, the music haunting. See this film and see how the Irish continue to astonish with their mastery of language and vision.
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