Famous film director Guido Contini struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.
Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his I.R.A. activities. Although he has not denounced the I.R.A. or denigrated his I.R.A. colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is nonsectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old I.R.A. colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old I.R.A. colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny. Maggie's father, Joe, also an I.R.A. activist, ...Written by
DANNY BOY (DERRY AIR)
Traditional tune with lyrics by Frederick Edward Weatherly (as Weatherly)
[Incorrectly co-credited to Harold Samuel (as Samuel)]
Published by BOOSEY & HAWKES MUSIC PUB. LTD. See more »
I think the reason this wasn't as well received as MY LEFT FOOT and IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER (the previous collaborations of Daniel Day-Lewis and Jim Sheridan) is this is telling a more complex tale, and while I loved both of those films, this one you have to work harder for. It should be said there are some lapses, particularly in the dialogue, which is often unnecessarily repeated. And sometimes, in his attempt not to play on our emotions too much, Sheridan goes too far in the opposite direction, making the film too distant.
Still, this is a powerful film. Sheridan was accused with IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER with making an anti-British film, but in that one and this one, he shows he's not afraid of taking on his own people as well. At the same time, while his sympathies are with Day-Lewis' character, he's able to recognize all sides of the situation, as to emphasize the point that peace is always hard work. Day-Lewis, as usual, gives an outstanding performance, though he's a little too old, and Watson continues to grow as an actress with her performance.
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