Hi everyone. I hope I find you all keeping safe and well. As the weekends at home continue we’re all turning to the TV to keep us all entertained and marking off those box sets on our ever shrinking lists! This week I thought it would be fun to share some favorite Irish movies with you all. There’s a lot of lists out there and it’s the perfect time to re-watch your favorites or discover some of those Irish movies that might have passed you by. So here’s our top 5 Irish movies as voted for by The Irish Store team!
Our Top 5 Irish Movies
5. The Quiet Man
At number 5 it’s one of the best loved Irish films of all time. Made it in 1952, The Quiet Man hails from Hollywood’s Golden Age and showcases the countryside of counties Mayo and Galway in glorious technicolor. It tells the story of Sean Thornton, (John Wayne) who travels from America to Ireland to buy his old family farm. On arrival he meets and falls in love with Mary Kate Danaher, played by our very own Maureen O’Hara.
The film follows their circuitous path to be together despite much shenanigans and chicanery from the locals. It won Oscars for best direction and cinematography. Perfect for all the family on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
4. Into The West
Two adorable kids, a magical horse and the inimitable Gabriel Byrne-what’s not to love? Into The West is the utterly charming tale of two young boys, Tito and Ossie who live with their father, Papa Reilly (Byrne), in a grim tower block on Dublin’s northside. Their mother Mary died during the birth of the youngest son, Ossie.
While their grief-stricken dad finds solace in the bottle, the young brothers are regaled with mystical tales by their Grandfather (David Kelly). When he is followed from the sea by a white horse, the boys dream of becoming cowboys. The film follows their adventures as they make their journey on the horse from Dublin and “into the west”. Another great movie for all the family.
3. My Left Foot
The 1990s were something of a golden age for Irish movies. My Left Foot was co-written and directed by Jim Sheridan who also wrote the screenplay of Into The West. It was adapted from Christy Brown’s book of the same name and charts the story of Christy, an Irishman from a poor working-class Dublin family. Living with cerebral palsy, he only had control of his left foot and went on to become an artist and writer.
Truly inspirational, the film features an extraordinary performance from Daniel Day-Lewis who went on to win the Oscar for best actor in 1990. Our very own Brenda Fricker also won an Oscar for best supporting actress as Christy’s mother, Bridget.
2. The Wind That Shakes The Barley
Our penultimate pick in our favorite Irish movies countdown is The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Directed by the much lauded Ken Loach and starring Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders fame.
Made in 2005, it is set in County Cork and follows the story of two brothers who join the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923). At the time of release it became the highest-grossing Irish independent movie ever and was awarded the prestigious Palme D’Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
1. And the winner is……The Commitments!
Number one in our countdown was a clear winner and is certainly my top choice! The tale of a struggling soul band in Dublin’s northside never fails to put me in good form with it’s heart, its wit and of course the music!
The film is based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle, who also wrote the screenplay. It was directed by Alan Parker who also directed hit musical movies Fame (1980) and Bugsy Malone (1976). It went on to achieve worldwide acclaim and won four Baftas. Undeniably feelgood, it has become a perennial Irish favorite since its release almost 30 years ago.
Thanks so much for dropping by. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!