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Ah Sure, It’s Grand: Random Thoughts on Critical Reception to Irish Films…

It’s always a bit interesting when a major and well-received Irish film is released, if only because it typically involves a fairly large divorce between the critical and audience reception to these films. It has been suggested that film critics are too quick to shower Irish films with praise they don’t deserve, out of some misplaced sense of patriotism. As the Trinity Film Review succinctly sums up:

An overrated Irish film is not hard to find. Our tendency towards the inflated evaluation of domestic filmmaking is a self-perpetuating one, leaving audiences indifferent towards the hyperbole-gavaged, entry-level film geese trotted out by our native industry, and filmmakers and critics alike complacent in the immutable, self-congratulatory expository routine the utter nakedness of which nobody seems inclined to comment on.

I have to admit, I’ve seen this in effect quite a few times, and it really bugs me – if only because it makes it harder to spot when a realgem of a film comes along. I honestly don’t think that this sort of attitude helps anyone.

I'm not down with that...

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Non-Review Review: Wide Open Spaces

I don’t know what it is about Irish cinema, but it’s very hard to get excited about. Most of our best talent seems to work overseas, which is why it’s great to get the guys behind Father Ted to come back. But it just… it doesn’t feel right. Wide Open Spaces is a perfectly average film. It isn’t side splittingly funny, but it isn’t dreadfully unfunny either. There isn’t much going on, and there are points when it feels like it’s trying too hard, but it isn’t the worst film of the year. It’s just… not very good, to be honest.

Two actors in search of a good script...

Two actors in search of a good script...

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