Ireland is known for a lot of things, including its crystal, beer, anyone who wins the Irish lottery as well as wool-knit sweaters. But one of the things that this nation has bestowed to the world of Hollywood is its plethora of actors, poets, and playwrights. That’s right; we’re talking about Irish movies.
With that in mind, we have put together a list of some of our favorite Irish films that people can binge-watch in 2020. You can expect anything from classic favorites such as Into The West to the more contemporary hits like The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
- Waking Ned (1998)
Waking Ned or Waking Ned Devine, as it’s known in North America, will forever go down as one of the best Irish and comedy movies in cinema history. It’s so funny, you’ll barely have enough minutes to catch your breath while laughing between the scenes.
The movie takes place in rural Ireland and depicts the story of two elderly best friends, namely Jackie O’Shea (Ian Bannen) and Michael O’Sullivan (David Kelly). Later on in the story, it was found out that someone in their tiny village wins the Irish lottery and they sought to discover the winner’s identity.
- Barry Lyndon (1975)
This masterpiece by Stanley Kubrick depicts the story of a scoundrel from the 18th century (Ryan O’Neal) who travels all over Europe and eventually woos a noblewoman (Marissa Berenson). However, the events later bring about a series of “Misfortunes and Disasters” as the intertitle indicates. Nasa-based cinematography and majestic music make this is one of Kubrick’s finest entries imaginable.
- P.S. I Love You (2007)
This Hilary Swank-led flick isn’t going to sway over the critics due to its sentimental-laden narrative. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying some of the Emerald Isle’s most beautiful locations. A heartbroken young widow forced to start a new life without her husband, who had lost his life due to an unprecedented illness, is something that is relatable and can help lighten the mood that Irish Cinema can often remain brooding in.
- The Wind That Shakes The Barley (2006)
When he’s not shooting other gangs in Peaky Blinders, or antagonizing Batman as Scarecrow in The Dark Knight trilogy, renowned Irish actor Cillian Murphy is out fighting for the Irish Independence in The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Murphy stars as Damian O’Donovan, who, alongside his brother Teddy O’Donovan (Padriac Delaney) join the Irish Republic Army to fight for the Emerald Isle’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1920.
Like other war dramas, this film has its share of bloody and bleak moments. So don’t expect yourself to go in with a smile on your face by the time you’re done with it. Nevertheless, don’t let that get in the way of you enjoying one of the best Irish-produced films of all time.
- Brooklyn (2015)
It takes a great movie to tell a compelling story and bring about a robust emotional response, and that’s exactly what Brooklyn (2015) aims to provide its viewers.
The movie is based on Colm Tobin’s novel of the same name and stars multi-Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan. It’s a wonderful story of a young Irish girl who ventures off to New York in the United States, torn between two of her lovers and two states.
Filmed in Coney Island, New York, Dublin, and Wexford, and being nominated for three Academy Awards, including Ronan for Best Actress, Brooklyn is, without a doubt, one of the best period drama flicks to have emanated from Ireland.
- The Hole in the Ground (2019)
Ireland had its highest-grossing movie in the form of a horror number known as The Hole in the Ground courtesy of writer/director Lee Cronin. It revolves around a woman who may believe that her son has been replaced with an imposter.
- Intermission (2003)
If you haven’t seen Intermission yet, you are really missing out. It starred some of Ireland’s best actors, including Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, Colm Meaney, and Kelly MacDonald.
When it was released, Intermission was the overall package deal: it has thrills, romance, and a barrel of laughs that we still reminisce even after 17 years.
- The Commitments (1991)
This movie is about an independent rock band from a poor rural area of North Dublin who desires to introduce soul music to Ireland. A bit of an oddball of a goal, but it no doubt makes for an enjoyable movie. This Alan Parker-helmed is known for its humor and vulgarity, which also serves as a decent introduction to Irish folk-rock artist Glen Hansard. Those who know of Hansard could be because he shared the spotlight with Czech singer-songwriter Marketa Irglova in Once or his real-life Swell Season duo group.
- Hunger (2008)
Hunger was renowned British director Steve McQueen’s first dip into directing where he and Irish playwright Enda Walsh wrote the story for the movie. Hunger, which stars popular Irish/German actor Michael Fassbender, is a profoundly engaging movie that will both entice and challenge its viewers.
The story of the movie revolves around ira volunteer and MP Bobby Sands (Fassbender). He had led the Northern Ireland Maze Prison’s second IRA hunger strike to regain some of the political statuses for Republican prisoners.
Interestingly, Fassbender’s own mother happens to be the great grand-niece of the historical Irish politician and revolutionary Michael Collins.
Before going into this, we should warn you that the movie isn’t for the faint-hearted as it is violent, disturbing, and shocking. However, Fassbender gave a lifetime performance, which in turn shot his name into stardom at that point onward.