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Donal is a 14-year old who develops a passion for greyhound racing. He works in a kennel, which is owned by Good Joe. Good Joe promises Donal ownership of Donal's favorite greyhound, The Mighty Celt, if the animal wins three races in a row. Meanwhile, Donal's mother, Kate, must adjust her life when O, a man from her past, returns. The political climate of Ireland serves as the backdrop of this story. Written by
A perfect opening film for the Dublin Film Festival
I found TMC to be a well made, well conceived piece, funny, touching, distressing (intentionally) and the tone was just right. Apparently there was a reel missing, I didn't notice, but am looking forward to see the final cut, hopefully there is more of Gillian is in it, as I felt she should have been used more in this film. She brings wonderful comic timing, and the expertly repressed emotional angst, which admirers of her work will have become accustomed to. With one look, her eyes tell more about her character's emotional state, than a thousand words uttered by any lesser actress. There is one scene in particular that this is apparent, when there is a close-up of Kate is looking in the mirror, psyching herself up for the day.
Robert Carlyle gives a sensitive performance as ex-IRA member O. He could so easily have played the part as either someone shifty and not to be trusted, or gone the other way and played the martyr, luckily, the role was written very well, with no judgement either way of the political situation in Belfast, so the audience never feels they are having a political agenda shoved down their throat, we are just witnessing a slice of life as seen from the perspective of a young boy.
Witch brings me to Tyronne McKenna, who steals the movie from underneath everyone else. An (as yet) unknown actor, he shows an remarkable emotional, without ever seeming insincere or overacted, not like other child actors who make you want to scream into a pillow! He is in most scenes of the film, and he carries the burden with aplomb.
All in all, I was impressed by this film, a great way to open the Dublin Film Festival, and part of, what could be, a golden year for Irish cinema.
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