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Non-Review Review: Metal Heart

Metal Heart is a charming and zesty coming age tale.

Written by Paul Murray and directed by Hugh O’Conor, Metal Heart owes a lot to the subgenre of female-focused teen dramedies like Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. It’s the story of Emma, a teenager awaiting her Leaving Cert results and trying to navigate the path to young adulthood, unaware of the various obstacles that stand in her path – including her own preconceptions. The (metal) heart of the film lies in the dynamic between Emma and her fraternal twin Chantal, but there are a host of other complicated dynamics for the young woman to navigate along the way.

A large part of the charm of Metal Heart comes down to the strong central cast. O’Conor has drawn together an impressive ensemble for his debut theatrical feature. The adult players include Irish film veterans Moe Dunford, Dylan Moran and Jason O’Mara. However, the best performances in Metal Heart often come from its teen performers. Jordanne Jones is remarkable in the central role of Emma. Leah McNamara does good work as Chantal. Aaron Heffernan is surprisingly affecting in the role of obligatory comic relief as Chantal’s sweet-but-dumb-as-a-bag-of-rocks boyfriend Alan.

Metal Heart has a genuine sweetness to it, which infuses and informs the film. It’s a lovely piece of Irish cinema.

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Immatürity for Charity, Tonight, 9.30pm, RTÉ 2

Christmas is often the time to indulge your inner child, so Immatürity for Charity seems perfectly suited for a post-holiday comedic treat. I had the pleasure of checking out a preview of it last week, and it is deliciously juvenile. It is, as the title suggests, a decidedly low-brow comedy sketch show, the kind of thing that could easily grate if it weren’t handled with the right amount of skill and enthusiasm. Luckily, writer (and star) Domhnall Glesson and director John Butler have done an outstanding job. Not all the sketches included are absolutely pitch-perfect, but the beauty of sketch comedy is that if you don’t like what you’re watching, well… another will be along shortly.

Domhnall Gleeson - IFC

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Immatürity for Charity, 9:30pm, RTÉ 2, 27th December 2012

I received this and thought it was worth sharing, in aid of a good cause.

This Christmas, some of the best actors and film crew in Ireland have come together for a sketch-show comedy special in aid of St Francis Hospice, Raheny. Immatürity for Charity features a whole host of Ireland’s top thespians including Domhnall Gleeson, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Huberman, Robert Sheehan, Hugh O’Conor, Brian Gleeson, David Wilmot and many more. Their mission: to embarrass themselves with pride and embrace their immature side in comedy sketches that aim to raise money and awareness for the hospice.

Brendan Gleeson - IFC

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