Dancing At Lughnasa (1998)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

Ireland/United Kingdom/USA, 1998.  Bórd Scannán na hÉireann, Capitol Films, Channel Four Films, Ferndale Films, Irish Film Board, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Sony Pictures Classics.  Screenplay by , based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by National Board of Review Awards 1998.  Toronto International Film Festival 1998Venice Film Festival 1998.  

Brian Friel’s stageplay about a family of five Irish sisters living in Donegal comes to the screen with a lot of love but not much purpose. Let yourself get carried away with the excellent performances or wonderful music or maybe just the beautiful scenery, and you’ll have a good enough time without having to notice that the story is too undetectable for its own good. The modern world of industrialization enters a sleepy little village that these women live in without anyone realizing it until it is too late to stop the changes it brings. Meryl Streep is brilliant as the eldest and sternest sister, who makes sure to keep sisters , ,  (Emma’s sister) and  (who won a Tony award for the same role on stage) in line as they explore the scary worlds of men, industry and pagan rituals (i.e. the celebration of the title). is also wonderful as their missionary brother who has returned from his work in Africa a senile old man.

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