Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
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It's the mid 1960s. With a long tradition of Irish music in their bloods, middle aged John Joe McMahon and younger Jimmy McMahon, two of three brothers, grew up in County Clare, Ireland. They have long been estranged, their falling out over a woman. John Joe, still living in County Clare, has never married, while Jimmy, who long left County Clare to live in Liverpool, is on wife number five and probably counting. As fiddlers, they each lead their own ceili band, following those strict musical conventions in which they were raised. As such, Jimmy's talented flautist, Teddy, exasperates him if only because of Teddy being musically influenced by among others The Beatles. John Joe's band has won the best ceili band competition at the prestigious annual Irish music festival three years running. This year, Jimmy's band will also be in attendance for the first time. John Joe and Jimmy do not want to see each other and do whatever they can to ensure the other does not make it to the festival.... Written by
The film is supposedly set in the early 60's when the Beatles were a beat band. Yet we see an English car with an H registration - not issued until August 1969. Alex and Teddy also mention Kevin Keegan signing for Liverpool. This did not happen until 1971. See more »
For those of us lucky enough to have been "trapped" in a non-tourist, back-street pub in Limerick, the 'wrong side' of midnight and fallen under the spell of the traditional Irish ceilidh, will already have their radars up, on this gentle '60s set film from director John Irvin.
It's likable enough, if you don't dwell on its shortcomings too much. Read some of the reviews here and you'll be looking out for the faults only. There are far too many vomiting incidents to stomach, for instance and as many have said, Andrea Corr, obviously cast as a star-draw simply cannot marry up over-exaggerated facial expressions with her dialogue.
Whilst many swoon over the gorgeous landscapes and the photography will feel cheated by it actually being filmed on the Isle Of Man - there is a reason for this; IOM offered big tax breaks and incentives for film- makers, but this film is so promoted as being the Emerald Isle through and through, it's a natural disappointment to find out the truth.
Colm Meaney and his estranged brother Bernard Hill are fine as the two brothers, the former having left for Liverpool years before to make his fortune. They happen to both be going to the same ceilidh festival and as in the best traditions of cinema, they try and outwit each other to win the overall top trophy. Some of these scenes are amusing; I wouldn't describe the film as a comedy - take it as I did and you won't be disappointed with this aspect. Andrea Corr's character (minus the glamour and make-up) gets a little annoying and unbelievable and her whirlwind romance with Colm Meaney's son is bland and uninteresting (as is Shaun Evans, who plays him).
If you take the two brothers, the music, the craic, the (non-Irish) scenery and the family story you'll find a warming and invigorating Irish stew. However, the faults do mean it doesn't quite make four stars, for me.
Best line has to be - Colm and his mate sit down for breakfast at a B&B, Colm tucking in heartily, his friend feeling delicate, due to a hangover. The friend orders a pint of Guinness; Colm looks at him quizzically. 'Well, you can't eat on an empty stomach, can you?' the friend replies. I saw the film on BBC2.
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