March 8, 2007

Ken Loach, Can CC Adopt You?

Ken Loach at MoMALast night at the Museum of Modern Art, Cinecultist attended a special preview screening of Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley, a new movie about the Irish "troubles" which won the Palm D'Or at Cannes this year. Loach was in the house to introduce the movie and answer questions following (as pictured with a MoMA staff member), as well as cast members Cillian Murphy, Padraic Delaney and Mairtin de Cogain. It was unassuming English and Irishmen all around, with one more self-effacing than the next. Loach in particular is totally adorable, like a sweet grandpa you want to take home for a cup of tea and then debate the history of Western philosophy.

One thing all four panelists were incredibly passionate about though was this project, which Loach described as coming together quite naturally. The struggles for Irish independence was a topic he and writer Paul Laverty had discussed for many years off and on before deciding to develop it into a screenplay about two fictional brothers caught up in the fighting. Each brother represents a point of view and as the conflicts get more heated, their impulses to do "the right thing" gets harder and harder in the face of the horrible circumstances.

Like in Loach's previous films that CC's enjoyed Bread and Roses and Sweet Sixteen, he does an amazing job of illiciting nuanced and naturalistic performances from his actors. Cillian Murphy has had good roles before, but he's particularly wonderful here as a young doctor compelled to fight for his country despite his gentle conscience. Also, CC was pleased to note that in person Murphy's modest personality doesn't contain any traces of his creepy characters from Batman Begins or Red Eye. Apparently, Cillian is a nice guy who's just a really good actor. Go fig.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley hits US theaters a week from Friday.

Posted by karen at March 8, 2007 11:52 AM
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