The Butcher Boy (1997)
Starring: Eamonn Owens, Stephen Rea (V For Vendetta; Breakfast on Pluto)
Directed By: Neil Jordan (Interview With The Vampire; The Crying Game)
Overview: Francis, a young Irish boy with a suicidal mother and a tragically alcoholic father, does what he can to make friends and foes in this slice of life study.
Acting: This kid is a natural. I'd looked into the other things he might have done along his career, but sadly he's never done a part so prevalent as in this one, which seems to be his first starring role in film or television. The way these players are, it's all a touch overzealous, a little too pre-planned. They do great though, given that was most likely on purpose. Oh Mrs. Nugent!
Cinematography: Rather plain. There's couple special effects, like the Virgin Mary appearing to our young wee laddie, but most of the film is a grey-skied view of the world as it was in a little town around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. From home life in a rustic and homey little abode to the priest-run boarding school, we're graced with... nothing spectacular.
Script: "Eh FISH! Feck Off!"
Irish accents are funny. It's like a little leprechaun's talking to me. Sometimes when you dream about leprechauns, they just grab you down below and run off with your sack... of gold, the whole time chittering to themselves in that rusty-bearded way they do. When you wake up, you didn't really understand what they said, cause it's a dream, and cause it's a wee Irish fellow. Wait, wait! That's kind of like this! A wee Irish fellow spoutin' such country-specific lingo that this was less about the words and more about the twist on them. Isn't it great not understanding a movie!
Plot: Half way through you might come to realize that this film is not one of 'plot' per se. In fact once you learn that this is truly just a 'year-in-the-life' slice of character study, you might lean back and enjoy the ride, watching a gifted young silver-tongues boy go about his days, hating the Nugents, and longing for friendship. The trip is fun enough, but the story only starts 80 minutes in.
Mood: If I were Irish, perhaps I'd have a warm glow as this reminded me of how great it was to know redheads who ran around wittily expressing himself while he quirkily talked to the priests, friends, enemies, the Virgin Mary or even his own narrator. Oh right. I'm NOT Irish.
Overall Rating: 66% (A Little Too Hacked-Up, If You Ask Me)
Aftertaste: You know, some reviews I just dread writing. Ok well not DREAD, but sometimes I just know that a particular review will just be one of the ones to add to the pile of 'there, done'. This movie, in a way, is like that. When I finished watching this, I thought about the review, knowing it would end with the same sentiment as this film did: