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Orphans (1998)

Four siblings gathered together for their mother's funeral in Glasgow face individual torments over night during a tumultuous storm that rips the roof off the church.

Director:

Peter Mullan

Writer:

Peter Mullan
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Douglas Henshall ... Michael
Gary Lewis ... Thomas
Rosemarie Stevenson Rosemarie Stevenson ... Sheila
Stephen McCole ... John
Ann Swan Ann Swan ... Mother of Family
Gilbert Martin Gilbert Martin ... Frank
Jan Wilson Jan Wilson ... Sandra (Woman in Bar)
Lenny Mullan Lenny Mullan ... Julian (Bar Manager)
Malcolm Shields ... Duncan
June Brogan June Brogan ... Mona
Paul Doonan Paul Doonan ... Lenny (Duncan's brother)
Linda Jane Devlin Linda Jane Devlin ... Evelyn (Waitress in Bar) (as Linda Cuthbert)
Lex Keith Lex Keith ... Himself
Hugh Ferris Hugh Ferris ... Himself
Joel Strachan Joel Strachan ... Neil (Lad in Toilet)
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Storyline

I quattro figli della signora Flynn si riuniscono a Glasgow, nella casa materna, in occasione dei funerali della madre, morta di recente. L'indomani mattina ci sarà la cerimonia funebre e, mentre un violento temporale si abbatte sulla città, i congiunti si preparano a trascorrere una notte molto difficile. I rapporti fra di loro si fanno più violenti man mano che le ore passano : bisogna accettare il lutto e cercare di ritrovare rapporti familiari ed affettivi ormai scomparsi da tempo. Written by rosebud6

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Are YOUR parents a burden?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 May 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ett sista farväl See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,098, 12 March 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$49,501, 19 March 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While in the van John(Stephen McCole) and Tanga (Frank Gallagher) listen to a Billy Connolly cassette. Michael(Douglas Henshall) played Billy Connolly's son in law in Down Among The Big Boys. See more »

Quotes

Tanga: Black bean sauce? Fuckin' mingin', man.
See more »

Connections

References Jean de Florette (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Crucifixion
Written by Billy Connolly
Performed by Billy Connolly
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User Reviews

 
Orphans: Ingeniously Funny
4 February 2011 | by imagikingSee all my reviews

With his third film as director Neds seeing release just recently, the previous two films of Peter Mullan were given a back-to-back television showing. I managed to catch his first, Orphans, having never before heard anything of it.

Meeting to mourn the loss of their mother, four Glaswegian siblings gather in a pub. When an inconsiderate group laugh at the lugubrious singing of the eldest, one of his brothers retorts physically and is stabbed. The remaining brother vows to avenge this whilst the handicapped sister finds herself stuck in a darkened alley, her wheelchair broken.

Orphans begins with a solemn scene, the four siblings gathered around their mother's coffin. Some gentle humour is created through the siblings' confusion at their elder's request that they place some hair in the coffin. This introduces us to the film's primary structure: scenes of genuine heartfelt drama lined with a subtle comedy to balance the mood. As things progress, we begin to see in increase in this comic factor, the film's clever blending of its contrasting elements creating a wonderful dichotomy. The true beauty of the film, however, is in its juxtaposition of its constituent elements. Many are the scenes which Mullan allows to play out, drawing us in with a barrage of riotous laughter, before effortlessly turning this on its head with a disarming simplicity and forcing us to comprehend the dramatic implications of the events unfolding before us. In a simple moment, we go from laughing at something to considering its grim seriousness. It is a stunning effect, one often attempted but rarely realised so fantastically as here. Mullan ends his scenes by inviting us to reconsider what we have just seen; we find ourselves looking at events with a melancholy when just moments ago they had us reduced to breathless laughter. He allows us to indulge ourselves in the fantastic comedy his writing engenders before showing us that these scenarios are in fact tremendously dark and dramatic. We may chuckle at Michael's determination to pass off his stab wound as an industrial accident, but we quickly reevaluate the true humour of this when we realise that he is slowly dying, his lightening pallor eventually quite frightening. This is just one example of the many such twists Mullan throws at us, showing himself to be as dramatically dark as he is ingeniously funny.

A truly fantastic combination of drama and comedy, done in a subversive way which forces us to reevaluate what we thought of a scene just seconds before, Orphans is a fantastic exploration of the closeness of drama and comedy. Splendidly supported by fantastic, hilarious, and realistically authentic Glaswegian performances, this film has certainly proclaimed Peter Mullan as a masterful director.


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