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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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