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The Boys from County Clare
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Boys & Girl from County Clare More at IMDbPro »The Boys from County Clare (original title)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Just a sweet little movie

Author: cheetah_baby from United States
26 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Without giving too much away (I put spoiler just in case), this was just a really sweet movie. Good cinematography, an interesting plot without too much heavy drama, and excellent music. The acting, of course, was great although it did irk my mother and I (both violinists, among other types of musician) that it didn't seem everyone was playing their instruments (see Goofs). That was a small goof compared to how good the movie was. I particularly enjoyed the (from what I remember) absence of music unless they were playing. It made the performances more pronounced and didn't give away clues to the audiences like so many other soundtracks do. I also liked the family dynamics between the brothers and how it all worked out in the end. Definitely recommend to anyone, especially of Irish heritage like me Da.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: maeveo from NY
23 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, this movie is adorable...but I feel that a lot of that was just because it took place in Ireland. I'm a full blooded Irish and saw through it...It's easy to get swept away in soft accents, pints, and fiddle music.

It seemed like the plot just sprung out of nowhere. Like, we were watching the movie for half an hour and then out of nowhere Anne pops up and is like "WHOS MY DADDY". There wasn't much character development so it was hard to really feel for any of the characters unless you were lulled into the Irish environment. Even if you're meant to read between the lines...there just should have been more. We barely knew anything about the characters and we were supposed to care about their pasts? Plus, for all of the praise Anne was getting for being such a great fiddler, the movie didn't highlight her playing at all. She didn't stand out in sound or in appearance from any of the other band members, other than just being pretty.

But, I guess its sort of cute.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

One of the year's best

Author: dennsylvania from Pennsylvania, US
14 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of the best movies I've seen this year, and I've seen a ton! Very enjoyable. Great characters. Great music. Great casting. Great script, except for the constant F-bombs from Colm Meaney. Good acting. And last but not least, the beauty of Andrea Corr.

(Slight spoilers below. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens)

I love how they showed the depths of the sibling rivalry, but brought them back together. It may be kinda warm and fuzzy, and may have happen a little too easily, but I like that the major personal conflicts that had been haunting the brothers, and Maisie were resolved. A lighthearted movie is what I needed, in this serious world. Movies are supposed to be enjoyable anyway!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

if it wasn't Irish, i woulda shut it off...

Author: revcosmo from baltimore, md
24 December 2005

The fact that this movie was about Irish people was about the only thing it had going for it. As the son of an Irish woman, I like watching Irish movies; I guess because they remind of my grandparents and things like that. But as a movie, without regard to its setting or its characters' nationality, it was quite dull. The acting wasn't bad, but the script was. All the plot points were very predictable and almost straight out of a soap opera. There were a few funny quips here and there, but most of the dialogue was rather uninspired and well, dull. The writer certainly didn't have any touch of the blarney in him.

Anyhow, if you just want to sit and listen to some pretty Irish accents for an hour and a half, then by all means, see this movie. But if you're looking for something interesting and well written, look elsewhere. Even my mum thought it was boring and pointless....

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Some good music but generic story

Author: SnoopyStyle
18 March 2014

Jimmy McMahon (Colm Meaney) leads his traditional Ceili band in Liverpool despite the explosion of the Beatles. Meanwhile back in County Clare, John Joe (Bernard Hill) is sharpening his group to defend their victories at the Irish traditional music competition. Jimmy McMahon returns to County Clare for the competition and does battle with his brother John Joe McMahon.

The music is good at times. Colm Meaney and Bernard Hill are solid actors who carry this movie. The other actors aren't as good. Andrea Corr of the band The Corrs does a passable job as the ingénue daughter. Occasionally, there are a few cute jokes, but the drama isn't as good as it should. They dance around the secret for half of the movie. The secret gets a big reveal, but it's only a blip in the otherwise generic movie. Director John Irvin just doesn't have the touch for this material.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

With competition in the All Ireland as the focus family drama ensues

Author: chicitysue from Chicago, Illinois
29 April 2006

The All Ireland music competitions, called "Fleadh Cheoil" (Flah Keeole)(Music Festival) are still being held every August in the Republic of Ireland. Even though the fleadh in the movie took place in 1966, the depictions of the fleadh are realistic with the streets full of people, the presence of people who have nothing directly to do with the competitions coming to the festivities, competing musicians from overseas,and the musicians playing in sessions.

There is a lot of humor in this movie, but also some family drama. The focus is the Ceili Band competitions with the bands of two brothers, one from rural Clare in Ireland and the other from Liverpool, who have had had a feud for over twenty years.

I enjoyed both the comedy and the realism of this movie.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining Irish and British comedy with music.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
1 May 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is the 1960s, and the Beetles' music is sweeping the world. There is an annual competition in Dublin, the type of music has a name but is unfamiliar to most of the world. The local favorite band is getting ready for it, with the boys of County Clare, and one very cute and very talented girl.

At the same time a band based in Liverpool is getting ready for the same competition, and its leader is the brother of the leader of the Irish band. So much of the movie involves heated competition between the brothers, including some antics to try to delay each one enough to miss the registration deadline of 8PM.

Things get more complicated when the young girl in the Irish band begins to fall for a nice young boy in the Liverpool band. Her mother is unusually upset by this, and warns her daughter not to run off to Liverpool. "Let him come to you."

SPOILERS. The young daughter happens to also be the daughter of the Liverpool brother, a womanizer who had had a short fling with her mother years earlier. At first it seemed that the girl would go back to Liverpool with the band, but she changed her mind and statued home. But eventually the boy from Liverpool showed up for her, as her mother had suggested. Also, a dark horse won the competition, a band put together by the 3rd of the violin playing brothers, now a missionary priest who had brought along a group of black musicians he had taught to play the Irish music.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A lovely film

Author: dublin_rox ( from East Sussex, England
3 February 2006

I went to see this film at the Montreal Irish Film Festival a couple of years ago, and it was simply lovely. I saw it with my mother who is born & raised Irish, and a friend who is a Jewish Montrealer; we all enjoyed it the same. It's the kind of film that crosses all cultural boundaries and tells a great story with fantastic music. If you know the Irish, then all the better. It really gets the Irish character perfectly with all the different people in it. There aren't any stereotypes; all different types of characters co-exist.

I wish there were a soundtrack for this, but I've never been able to find one! You'll probably laugh, cry and want to dance when you see this; it's an experience.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

For the most part I enjoyed this Movie

Author: ostryjak from United States
31 December 2005

A cutesy make ya feel good movie I enjoyed it just for the light entertainment no need to think point of view. The real downer for me - and this is because I play music - is that none of the musicians in this movie could play anything and it was painfully obvious. Most of them didn't even move their fingers on the fingerboards. I had expected and watched this movie to see some decent Irish musicians playing as the backdrop for the movie and there was none. How much more could it have cost the movie makers to have had some real musicians in here ? They would have loved the exposure and it would have been a win win situation.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I believe that if it includes music, it includes me...

Author: jpschapira from Argentina
2 August 2005

I had just finished watching a movie and I was planning either to write about it or to go to sleep once and for all. But then, a beautiful music (got to thank Fiachra Trench for that) arrived to my ears. Never mind, I was about to get up when I saw this girl, this lady; this beautiful woman. I recognized her from somewhere and in less than a minute I remembered her. Andrea Corr, the singer of The Corrs (a group that ironically Fiachra Trench helps musically) and now actress for the third time. She has a trapping screen presence; she's gorgeous and full of joy.

The story came next, and it involved what I most love in the whole world: music. But it is not that typical music contest story. There's music all along, and a contest too; but first time screenwriter Nicholas Adams involved another things: love, family and feelings. It's the most charming script, really, in the way it introduces the film's characters, one by one and in the way it deceives us keeping the most predictable secrets hidden until the right moments.

We first meet Jimmy (a very acceptable Colm Meaney), playing with his music band. He has many gifted musicians under his direction, including Teddy (an excellent young actor named Shaun Evans), who makes Jimmy because he is fond of modern music and plays that all the time. Then an old man gets up from a bed and walks a little bit. This is John Joe (Bernard Hill, that captain from Titanic now in top form), who lives, we quickly understand, for music. His band is led by Maisie (Charlotte Bradley) in the piano, and Anne, (the character played by Andrea Corr) who has a gift for the violin.

Thinking in other movies of this type, the music movies that bring up past moments for the people involved in the contest and other things like that, "The fighting temptations" came to mind. Mainly because it starred Beyoncé Knowles, in what was a vehicle for her, because she promoted her songs and the camera focused her intentionally and constantly. Here, Andrea Corr is another stunning actress inside the ensemble, and if you don't know who she is, you'll enjoy her brilliant portrayal of a messed up teenager (she played a teenage girl with 29 years) who needs someone that guides her way.

In comparison with "The fighting temptations", the ending here is different. It is what I was talking about Nicholas Adams' script, very sympathetic. Then the characters are real and we understand them. For example, John Joe says that Jimmy has no rhythm and when we see Jimmy playing alongside his band, his feet are totally out of time. Real are also the characters' personalities, that stick to them in all of their actions. So we laugh because of how stupid some characters are and the opportunities they miss because of the things they do. We get moved in the beautiful love story because we understand life can be like that sometimes and because the chemistry between the actors in undeniable.

John Irvin directed passionately and correctly a movie that's for anyone. Anyone who likes music, anyone who likes love, anyone who appreciates family and I forgot, the ending...Probably the most awkwardly pleasant ending I've witnessed in a long time. You'll see what I'm talking about.

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