Thursday, March 09, 2006

Movie Review: Dancing at Lughnasa

This is definitely a "chick flick" movie at The Warren: a lot of talking, not much action, no real resolution.

Five sisters live together near Donegal in 1930's Ireland, along with the young son of the youngest sister. Their brother, a missionary priest in Africa, comes home. He is very much changed, though the oldest sister, Kate, believes that with rest, food, and family, he'll soon be himself again.

In fact, it is a summer of change. A new knitting factory is opening that will replace the need for the gloves hand-knitted by two of the sisters. Kate, a local school teacher and the primary breadwinner, loses her job. The boy's father drives up on his motorcycle and tells the boy's mother, Chrissy, that he'll off to fight the fascists in Spain. Rosie, who is mentally challenged, is convinced that she is in love with Danny Bradley and he with her. However, Danny is currently married to someone else.

The five women bump against each other, irritating each other and supporting each other in the ways that only sisters can. And maybe that's why I enjoyed this movie so much: it reminded me, in lots of ways, of my relationship with my sisters. (If I ever need an honest opinion about myself, I ask them!)

And through it all is the boy, who is trying to sort out the mysteries of the adults in his world, whose actions don't always make sense to him.

The acting in this movie is superb. Meryl Streep, as Kate, is quite impressive and displays her talents for accents and character. Catherine McCormack, who played Murren in Braveheart, is Chrissy: sassy, sweet, vulnerable, tough. Michael Gambon plays the brother, Father Jack. And I realized that he is perfect in this role--just not my idea of Dumbledore. The rest of the cast is excellent; not a false note among them. And, of course, the cinematography is gorgeous. It is, after all, Ireland.

On the March Hare Scale: 4 out of 5 Golden tickets.