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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

March 17, 2009 at 4:50 PM

When Irish films are smilin’

Now, did you think a green-eyed movie critic named Moira was going to let this day go by without recommending a few Irish films? Here are three of my recent favorites, not just for St. Patrick’s Day (and readily available on DVD). What are yours?
Once: If you haven’t seen this gentle musical (whose song “Falling Slowly) won an Oscar last year), what are you waiting for? A nameless man (Glen Hansard) and woman (Marketa Irglova) meet and make music — and some screen magic — in contemporary Dublin, changing each other’s lives in the process.
The Wind That Shakes the Barley“: Ken Loach’s haunting, beautifully filmed tragedy is set in 1920 Ireland, during the country’s fight for independence from Great Britain. Its poetic title comes from a 19th-century Irish song by Robert Dwyer Joyce. Its lyrics include these: ” ‘Twas hard for mournful words to frame / To break the ties that bound us, /Ah but harder still to bear the shame / Of foreign chains around us.”
In America“: It’s set in New York, but this sensitive tale of an Irish immigrant family trying to start a new life is green at its core. Director Jim Sheridan drew on his own experiences in crafting the story, co-written with his daughters Naomi and Kristen.

“The Wind That Shakes the Barley” (photo credit: Joss Barratt, IFC Films)

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