The Wind That Shakes the Barley review

This movie was recommend by Kira from Film and TV 101 as part of my Anniversary Celebration 5.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley movie posterSynopsis
During the Irish War of Independence, the O’Donovan brothers, Damien (Cillian Murphy) and Teddy (Padraic Delaney), join the fight for Irish Independence from the United Kingdom.

Review
I think I can honestly say this is the first Irish independent film I have ever watched in my life (at least that I can recall). And I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I feel about The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Going in knowing nothing about this other than it was a war film, it wasn’t the war film I expected it to be. Most of the time when I think of a war film, it is covered in violence and regular action pieces. Maybe that’s a mistake on my part for setting that expectation in my head but that is not what this was. There were action scenes intermittently throughout the film but the main focus was on the O’Donovan brothers, played by Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney.

The drama between the two brothers drives the film, the war is simply the backdrop for their story. Murphy and Delaney expertly navigate the audience through their turmoil. Murphy is an actor that has mostly flown under my radar. I’ve seen many of his films but he isn’t necessarily one to be the reason I watch a film. That might’ve changed after watching this movie. His performance as Damien O’Donovan might be his best performance I’ve seen. While this is Delaney’s first film I’ve seen, consider me a fan. These two together made a great pair.

I thought The Wind That Shakes the Barley was GOOD 🙂 I said at the beginning that I didn’t know how I felt about this film but now I know. While the story might not be my normal cup of tea, the performances from Murphy and Delaney and the emotion they each brought to the film made it enjoyable and worthwhile.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Ken Loach – Director
Paul Laverty – Writer
George Fenton – Composer

Cillian Murphy – Damien O’Donovan
Padraic Delaney – Teddy O’Donovan
Liam Cunningham – Dan
Orla Fitzgerald – Sinead
Laurence Barry – Michael
Mary Murphy – Bernadette
Mary O’Riordan – Peggy
Myles Horgan – Rory
Martin Lucey – Congo
Roger Allam – Sir John Hamilton
John Crean – Chris
Damien Kearney – Finbar
Frank Bourke – Leo
Shane Casey – Kevin
Mairtin de Cogain – Sean
William Ruane – Johnny
Fiona Lawton – Lily
Sean McGinley – Father Denis
Kevin O’Brien – Tim

Dave Made a Maze Review

Dave Made a Maze movie posterSynopsis
Feeling frustrated with his life, Dave (Nick Thune) builds a maze in his living room while his girlfriend, Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani), is away. When Annie returns home, she discovers Dave has become lost in his own maze and goes inside to rescue him.

Review
When my friend first described Dave Made a Maze to me, it sounded like my kind of movie: funny and weird. When I went over to his house for a movie night, this was on our itinerary. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This movie is quirky, different, and ridiculous in all the right ways. The premise is simple, it’s stated right in the title, and when it first starts out, you might not think anything of it. But as more and more people enter Dave’s maze and things get weirder and weirder, that’s when the film really gains traction. It strikes the right balance between taking itself seriously while at the same time embracing its nonsensical concept. The entire cast is wonderful and there are some unique visuals throughout the film (including one scene where the characters are turned into paper bag puppets). I can honestly say I have never seen a film like this before and that alone made it well worth the watch. The eighty-minute run time is the perfect length to deliver all the laughs and absurdity without feeling like it drags on.

I thought Dave Made a Maze was GOOD 🙂 I had never heard of this film before my friend showed it to me and I’m extremely glad he did. If you can get past the zany premise, there is a gem to be found underneath all that cardboard.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Bill Watterson – Director
Steven Sears – Writer
Mondo Boys – Composer

Nick Thune – Dave
Meera Rohit Kumbhani – Annie
Adam Bush – Gordon
James Urbankiak – Harry
Frank Caeti – Boom Operator
Scott Narver – Cameraman
Stephanie Allynne – Brynn
Kirsten Vangsness – Jane
Scott Krinsky – Leonard
Timothy Nordwind – Greg
John Hennigan – The Minotaur
Rick Overton – Hobo
Kamilla Alnes – Flemish Tourist
Drew Knigga – Flemish Tourist
Etienne Eckert – Shadow Dancer
Brittney Deutsch – Shadow Dancer
Jessica Graves – Shadow Dancer