From a reviewer:
This is a great film and I've watched it several times. The photography is stunning. The musical score is brilliant. The characters are believable and endearing. The film does not take sides except to say "Enough!" Enough bloodshed. Enough hatred. Enough poverty. Northern Ireland has had enough.
Daniel Day Lewis and Emily Watson give stellar performances. I've seen all of Daniel Day Lewis' films--even his early releases. This is one of my favorite DDL films--a difficult choice as he has made so many excellent films. The supporting cast is composed of first class actors. The scenes are terribly realistic. I still jump when a bomb explodes early in the movie, and the boxing scenes are fabulous. (In the fifties I was a fan of Carmine Basilio, so I know what the real thing looks like.)
The contrast of stark, war-torn Belfast with tenacious individuals attempting to lead relatively normal lives--marrying, having children, teaching day-school, mopping floors, is heart-rending.
Those who have taken one side or the other in this awful conflict might not appreciate the neutrality of the film. That is the whole point. Most of the Irish are fed up and want to get on with their lives. I thought the coincidence of the film release with the current peace process effort was grand.
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