Review: At the height of the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns to his native Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Around him he can see the poverty and growing oppression in the village. He decides to re-open the dance hall which has been abandoned since he left and which led to his deportation.
Director: Ken Loach
Actors: Barry Ward, Francis Magee, Aileen Henry, Simone Kirby, Shane O’Brien, Denise Gough, Jim Norton, Aisling Franciosi, Sean T. O. Meallaigh, Karl Geary and Brian F. O’Byrne
Genre: Biography, Drama and History
This has got a superb script by Paul Laverty. Ken Loach and Paul Laverty have worked together several times in the past. To name a few are Bread and Roses (2000) and the fantastic Route Irish (2010). Just like all Ken Loach’s films you don’t think that the actors are acting, I always think of them as real people. I thought that Barry Ward was brilliant and also Aileen Henry. I have not come across Barry Ward before. This is a really vibrant and educational film. It is stated that the real Jimmy Gralton was the only Irishman ever deported from Ireland after Irish Independence. It is no surprise but there are no remnants of the original Hall left. The Hall and the cottage could not be built in the same location in County Leitrim where they were originally but they managed to film in a more remote location in the same county. Apparently actor Jim Norton stated that his character, Father Sheridan, was the complete opposite to his own attitude and feelings. Good support from Aisling Franciosi.