Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.
Human longing for life, bare and simple on the screen
I love this movie. Saw it again last night on the big, wide screen at the Astor, from a beautiful new print. There is much to deserve love: the artistry of the film making; unspeakably fine cinematography; superb use of music and sound (hearing nothing but the wind in the trees during the forest scene is breathlessly sensual); and major and minor characters who each in their own way reflect the eternal enigma of human longing for life and transcendence. The film's evocation of human lives caught up in the inexorable forces of nature and history at this particular moment and place is profoundly arresting. There's a timelessness about this movie which makes the criticisms I've heard - about miscasting, stiff acting and the like - melt away into irrelevance, or even shows them to be virtues. I love the way the film maintains narrative integrity but has a foreordained, mythical quality as well: the overwhelming, all-penetrating power of nature and fate seems to make the human doings at once piercingly real and immediate, yet disconnected, almost surreal. But the touches of humour and sharp, immediate visual detail (often wittily drawn from the visual history of paintings and caricatures of village life) save us from any kind of authorial portent or angst: the greatest wonder of this artful work is that there is nothing between us and the story, except perhaps the icy whip of the ocean wind gainst our faces. The range of characters both in kind and in how we experience them is enlivening - from the formidably down to earth Father Collins, to the captivatingly tragic and symbolic figure of Doryan. And Michael the retarded angel is the ultimate figure of grace.
- Dec 16, 1999
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content