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BELFAST - Kenneth Branagh

  • 03-09-2021 5:22am
    Registered Users Posts: 59,244 ✭✭✭✭Agent Coulson

    Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh, BELFAST is a poignant story of love, laughter and loss in one boy’s childhood, amid the music and social tumult of the late 1960s. Starring Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds, and Jude Hill.



  • Registered Users Posts: 81,975 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    "Belfast is a semi-autobiographical movie based on Branagh’s upbringing in the Northern Ireland capital in the 1960s. At the Belfast Media Festival Branagh revealed: “It’s a very personal film, set partly in Belfast and partly elsewhere, partly set in the past and partly set in the present. I hope that there is humor and I hope that it’s emotional. It’s a look at a people and a place in tumult through the eyes of a nine-year-old movie-mad kid.”

    An exciting black and white trailer

  • Registered Users Posts: 81,975 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

    Reviews are good, plenty awards buzz, hope to see this weekend

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭Fandymo

    Saw it the other night, thought it was very good. Young lad who played the lead role was excellent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭santana75

    Saw it at the weekend and even though it started really well I just felt it descended into dreariness after that. I know the subject matter isn't exactly sunshine and rainbows but it was just unremittingly bleak and grey. Catriona balfe's character was annoying all she did was give out, cry, shout and give out some more. Ciaran hindes was excellent though as was Jamie Dornan. Overall bleak and depressing, not something I'd want to watch again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭bodhrandude

    I enjoyed it, shot in beautiful sepia-tone with the soundtrack of Van Morrison and great performances from Dench and Dornan and all the other actors and actresses.

    If you want to get into it, you got to get out of it. (Hawkwind 1982)

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  • A really beautiful film. 10/10 for me. Cant understand how anyone would describe it as dreary. Considering it was set in the midst of the troubles it was actually heartwarming. I thought the relationship between Buddy and his grandparents, in particular, his grandad played by Ciaran Hinds was absolutely magical. Really heartwarming.

    Some interesting facts.

    1 Ciaran Hinds and Judi Dench play a married couple when in fact, in reality Judy Dench (87) is 19 years Hinds senior (68)

    2 Jamie Dornan is only miming 'Everlasting love' to the actual song performed by the Love Affair (sang by Steve Ellis). although im guessing that most people figured this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭santana75

    At one stage Jamie Dornan's character was talking to his sons about moving the Australia. The wife comes in and immediately puts a downer on things........she was a pain. Victor Frankl wrote a great book, Man's search for meaning where he concluded, that no matter what your external circumstances you always have a choice on how you respond. The wife in this movie responded by complaining, giving out and in general being negative.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭Fandymo

    He actually sang it live at the premiere party.

  • Registered Users Posts: 527 ✭✭✭biketard

    Saw this a couple of nights ago and really liked it. I was born in Belfast in 1970, so found a lot of it very nostalgic (I realise it was set just before I was born!)

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,130 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha

    I loved it. Probably the best film I'll see all year.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,027 ✭✭✭lucalux

    You're criticising Kenneth Branagh's actual mother, since that is the 'character' that Catriona Balfe is playing.

    Seems odd to me but, yes, maybe young Kenneth Branagh should have gone down to the local library, gotten the Viktor Frankl book for his Mam, and told her to read it and not be such a pain 😄

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 36,130 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha

    I'd agree with this. Even now, the level of ignorance prevalent here with regards to Northern Ireland is staggering.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,277 ✭✭✭santana75

    Thats interesting because it seems as though you're saying we're not allowed criticize a character in a movie. She gave out a lot, she complained, she acted in a very negative way, then gave out some more.......this is how the character acted in the film. Its almost as if you dont like the fact that how she behaved is being pointed out??? To me, watching that film, she was a pain, a very negative and not all that likeable, character.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,364 ✭✭✭Did you smash it

    Some obviously enjoyed it. I thought it was twee, obvious and a wannabe button pusher flick that didn’t push any buttons….and god help me but that kid was the most annoying screen presence in many’s a year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,027 ✭✭✭lucalux

    I didn't say we're not allowed criticise a character, but more that it's a representation of a real life human being, who are invariably flawed as opposed to written characters oftentimes.

    I also think your opinion that if someone reads Viktor Frankl, that they might be suddenly transported from their unhappiness, and be a better person.

    There are a lot of imperfect people in the world, Kenneth Branagh is writing his mother as such a one, and these characters are plentiful in life. There aren't many (that I know in life at least) who have Viktor Frankl's fortitude. I read the book several times from a young age, but I've also been emotional and a pain in the arse to others around me no doubt.

    No I was just expressing an opinion that you thought a character was unlikeable, and I thought, the character is indispensable to the story.

    There's no stopping either of us from having our opinions or criticisms (thank goodness!)

  • Very much agree with your take, just a polished and pretty flat experience. The old Jimmy McGovern Drama The Street has much more of a bite and realism in a similar setting, that this just didnt have for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭Harryd225

    Haven't seen the film yet but I've heard so many good things about the movie and it's apparently set to win Oscars, yet from reading thread it's s**** apparently.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,793 ✭✭✭✭fritzelly

    Enjoyed it - the kid is great and his scenes make the movie

    Can't say there is much of a story beyond what lot's of people have experienced growing up at that time (funnily enough Australia was being looked at when I was like 7ish years old). Life was crap for a lot of people in the 70's so the film isn't anything special in that area

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,248 ✭✭✭Xander10

    I lasted 40 mins and gave up. Like others, it just wasn't for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,111 ✭✭✭billyhead

    Like some other posters I was bored after about 45 minutes. I don't understand all the hype.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,007 ✭✭✭homerun_homer

    I’m glad it isn’t just me who wasn't bowled over by it. My family left the North in the late 70s due to the troubles, so I was hoping I'd really like the film. Ciaran Hinds was the my favourite part of it. It was twee, and I thought the style could be a bit all over the shop at times. Between it's flourishes of colour, the music set piece at the funeral, to the awkward close up on Judi Dench that was like an attempt at something more arthouse by Branagh as it ended. I couldn't shake that it just looked like it was filmed on the equivalent of a Fair City set, with it's limited range for exploring the neighbourhood.

    In terms of the colour elements, this mainly works when you know the kid is a substitute for Branagh, and this was like an awakening. However, it happens a few times too many, and most of the focus is not about him being affected by it, such as the play of Scrooge where the focus was kept on his granny. It's neither a great kitchen sink drama that digs a little deeper in to how the troubles affects a family & neighbourhood community, nor is it a great film about childhood innocence in the midst of the troubles. It was a mish mash, and was just grand. For 90 minutes in length I did feel some impatience with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭Higgins5473

    I'm fairly confused by all the adulation it is receiving, and it seems to be predominantly from the print media and radio reviews. I was thoroughly looking forward to this based upon all I had read and heard. I thought it was atrocious, unwatchable. Anyone I've spoken to subsequently that has seen it has said the same thing, a few family members didn't last more than an hour. One of the worst films I can recall seeing.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 33,669 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    It's probably not a good reflection of any film when I'm thinking of another during a viewing: specifically, John Boorman's Hope & Glory. That 1987 film better captured the weird mix of war or upheaval within seen through the eyes of a child; instead, here, Belfast seemed a little trapped by its director's obvious fondness and sentimentality towards his (lost?) childhood. To be fair, it was a handsome creature to look at on occasion, the small splashes of colour during escapes to the cinema a nice touch - but there was no contrast to this, no true counterpoint of horror to balance the wonder. Bar two, slightly neutered scenes, "The Troubles" never ... uh, troubled the young protagonists - not to the degree Hope and Glory surrounded its child lead with the grim reality of The Blitz.

    Post edited by pixelburp on

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,559 ✭✭✭Cluedo Monopoly

    I had not realised it was about Brannagh but I heard it was a good movie. However I was bored very early on. Hinds and Balfe were good but an utterly forgettable movie.

    What are they doing in the Hyacinth House?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,780 ✭✭✭kirk.

    Thats enough to put me off going .Van soundtrack

  • Registered Users Posts: 455 ✭✭BaywatchHQ

    I have no interest in seeing a film about Belfast, I live 45 minutes from it and have always disliked that place, the accent, the look of it and the general misery of it. I also have had many bad experiences with Belfast people, they always seem to have such aggressive loud personalities. I probably would have watched if it was about a Nationalist family but I have no intention of watching a film about unionist characters. Call me a bigot if you want, life is short and I hear enough of them on the news every night without spending time listening to them in a film.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,091 ✭✭✭SCOOP 64

    Found it very boring, i never gain interest in the story line.