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5 Irish Movies to Watch

from Renowned Irish Directors

1. Belfast

Released: 2021
Director: Kenneth Branagh

About the Movie:
Belfast is based on Kenneth Branagh's experience growing up during a tumultuous time in Northern Ireland, during The Troubles, and is told through the lens of a young boy.

A nine-year-old boy must chart a path towards adulthood through a world that has suddenly turned upside down. His stable and loving community and everything he thought he understood about life is changed forever but joy, laughter, music and the formative magic of the movies remain. 

Starring Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds, and Jude Hill.

About the Director:
Kenneth Branagh is a renowned Irish director and actor. His directorial debut was in 1989 with the film adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V, of which he also starred as the titular character. He's been nominated for five Academy Awards and five Golden Globes, and won three BAFTA's and two Emmys. Other notable films he's directed: Dead Again (1991), Thor (2011), Cinderella (2015), and Murder on the Orient Express (2017).


2. Wolfwalkers

Released: 2020
Irish Production Company: Cartoon Saloon
Directors: Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart

About the Movie:
A young apprentice hunter and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night. This animated fantasy adventure film was directed by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. The film is the third and final installment in Moore's "Irish Folklore Trilogy" following his previous films The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea.

The film received nominations for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs.

About Cartoon Saloon:
Cartoon Saloon is a five-time Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Emmy nominated, Kilkenny based, animation and television based studio. The studio is best known for its animated feature films The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner and Wolfwalkers.



3. Black '47

Black '47
Released: 2018
Director: Lance Daly

About the Movie:
Set in Ireland in 1847 during the Great Famine, the drama follows an Irish Ranger fighting for the British Army who abandons his post to seek revenge on those responsible for the death of his family. Starring James Frecheville and Hugo Weaving.

Note: This movie is rated R.

About the Director:
Lance Daly is a producer, director and screenwriter born in Dublin, Ireland. Other notable films he's directed: The Commitments (1991) and Kisses (2008)


4. Once

Released: 2007
Director: John Carney

About the Movie:
Once is a modern-day movie musical starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova set in the streets of Dublin. A vacuum repairman moonlights as a street musician and hopes for his big break. One day a Czech immigrant, who earns a living selling flowers, approaches him with the news that she is also an aspiring singer-songwriter. The pair decide to collaborate, and the songs that they compose reflect the story of their blossoming love.

The song "Falling Slowly" from the film won the Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. The success of the film led to a Broadway musical based on the story, which won multiple Tony Awards.

Note: This movie is rated R.

About the Director:
John Carney is a producer, director, screenwriter and lyricist from Dublin, Ireland. His films focus on musical dramas. His other musical drama Sing Street was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy in 2016, and the song "Lost Stars" from his film Begin Again was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 2013. 


5. Maudie

Released: 2016
Director: Aisling Walsh

About the Movie: 
Based on a true story, Maudie is about Maud, a Canadian folk painter who struggles with rheumatoid arthritis, the memory of a lost child, and a family that doubts her abilities, before moving in with a surly fish peddler as his housekeeper. Despite their differing personalities, they grow closer as they discover the popularity surrounding her art. Starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.

About the Director:
Aisling Walsh has written and directed feature and television films as well as directing a number of highly acclaimed television series. She has won over 25 international film and television awards. Other notable directorial work: Song for a Raggy Boy (2003) and An Inspector Calls (2015).



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