Recover from your St. Patricks Day hangover with Irish films

No doubt you will go out and imbibe several plastic cups of dyed green Budweiser that someone at a far-too-crowded establishment is passing off as being Irish… you could do that, but you shouldn’t. Even the halfway-decent pubs and the really good ones will be inundated by patrons and you’ll be straining to hear the Emerald Pipe and Drum Corps. over the din of a hundred shouting revelers, all Paddys if only for a day. Sure, it is good fun, but here’s a good way to nurse the hangover the next day; with great Irish films. After all, ye could use a bit o’culture, ye wee twit.

Great Irish Films

Action / Historical Action:
Michael Collins – Starring Liam Neesen, Adain Quinn and Julia Roberts… about a man who played an important role in the Declaration of the Irish Republic, and the resulting War of Independence and Irish Civil War.

Some Mother’s Son – Helen Mirren and Fionnula Flanagan star in this moving film… refusing to be labeled as criminals rather than enemy combatants, 10 IRA prisoners died on hunger strike in a British prison. This film looks at how the families were impacted.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley – A great film starring Cilian Murphy about two brothers who fought for independence from the British and then find themselves fighting former comrades in the Irish Civil War.

The Commitments – Roddy Doyle’s a genius and this adaptation of his novel is a hilarious look at a bunch of young men and women in Dublin who have designs on making it big in the music business.

Waking Ned Devine – Great comedy about a dead man who wins the lottery and a whole town that tries to reap the rewards.

Angela’s Ashes – Film about Frank McCourt’s memoir of the same name. Details the struggles of a young man whose deadbeat alcoholic father forces them to move back to Ireland, his trials and tribulations there and his efforts to return to America.

The Boxer – Stirring drama about an ex-IRA man just out of prison who struggles to find a new life in the community and the taboo of courting soldiers’ wives. Daniel Day-Lewis is amazing.

The General – Excellent film by John Boorman about Dublin crime lord Martin Cahill, stars Brendan Gleeson at his best.

The Field – An early Jim Sheridan gem, this film stars the great Richard Harris as well as Sean Bean and Tom Berenger. It is the story of a farmer who holds on to the land and the old ways even as he is prompted to leave by the smarmy Irish-American who shows up to purchase it.

Feel-Good Movies:
Run of the Country – One of my favorite movies of all time, it’s a coming-of-age story that examines love and intolerance… about a young man and his love affair with a Protestant girl just across the border as well as his estrangement from his father and the hijinks of his youth before he goes off to university.

The Last of the High Kings – Another one about the trials of youth, this film is about young Frankie Griffin who spends the summer organizing a beach party and trying to get laid in the waning days of his youth all while dealing with his fastastically eccentric family.

Special note: No crown-kissing Tom Clancy shite books or movies were harmed in the making of this list.

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