In 2006, Northern Ireland's bloody Troubles had dragged on for decades. Now with the growing threat of a new generation inspired by the 9/11 attacks to escalate the conflict to new levels of destruction, the Catholic Republican and the Protestant Unionist sides are finally persuaded to seriously explore a peace agreement at U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair's (Toby Stephens') urging. Unfortunately, the principle negotiators, firebrand Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall) and Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), are decades-long implacable enemies. However, with talks about to start, Paisley has his wedding anniversary that he is determined to attend at home, and McGuinness decides he must accompany his enemy to prevent him from being persuaded to abandon this chance for peace. With Prime Minister Blair and his MI5 staff nervously watching from secret cameras, the two foes undertake a journey together in which they bridge the seemingly unbridgeable...Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Are You Getting Through
Written by Glen Hansard
Published by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
Performed by Glen Hansard, Joseph Doyle, Graham Hopkins, Ruth O'Mahony Brady, Michael Buckley, Ronan Dooney, Una O'Kane, Paule Hughes, Katie O'Conner, David, Odlum
Recorded fby David Odlum at Westland Studios, Dublin and Black Box Studio, France
Produced by David Odlum
Appears Courtesy of Anti Records See more »
Movie making at its best.
"These two are the Troubles."
The "two" are Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), the leader of the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party, and Martin McGuiness (Colm Meaney), Sinn Fein politician and IRA operative, traveling together in a fictional hour of two-handed politics, whose interaction had the outcome of peace. The Journey, meticulously directed by Nick Hamm, is superb filmmaking that illuminates history and showcases transcendent acting.
Facing off each other with Paisley's accurate condemnation of IRA violence and McGuiness's hatred of Paisley's rigid evangelical Protestantism, the two in the van on the way to the Glasgow airport dance around each other as they figure out how to survive their own arrogance and win a peace. But as we know, an accord was made back then that ended 40 years of bloodshed and a unified Northern Ireland under the combined leadership of both men.
Although actors like Toby Stephens as Tony Blair and John Hurt as Harry Patterson could command any screen at any time, Spall and Meaney are so believable as to make you forget all other performances. Their job to let you see the growing friendship by small increments is marvelous to behold.
Applause, too, must be given for a production design that commands maximum intimacy and suspenseful plot distribution: The interior of the van becomes an intimate drawing room with no diplomats or functionaries to distract from the plan at hand; the brief time to get to the airport has the properties of a digital readout in a heist movie—everyone is aware that the handshake may not happen if the van gets to the plane on time or too late.
The Journey is required for those who love first-rate acting and those who want to feel history in the making. For anyone else, it is the antidote to the summer blockbuster.
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