The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 114 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Sheila Flitton, Jon Kenny, David Pearse, Bríd Ní Neachtain
  • Director: Martin McDonagh
  • Kingslaay - 13 January 2023
    A different sort of film
    Overall I liked 'The Banshees of Inisherin' but I also have mixed feelings about it. Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell deliver strong performances to try carry the film.

    There is something refreshing about a simplistic setting. The film is set in 1923 on a very simple and laid back island in Ireland. We have become conditioned to seeing CGI and over the top story lines and/or action sequences. So it's nice to see a film that relies on its story and performances. I feel this setup is the reason people have heaped praise on this film, a real story that isn't Marvel or another action/CGI film. The story is also relatable and understandable. One can see how a person might grow weary of a friendship or companion when you had little choice to begin with. They were an odd pairing from the start.

    My only contention is the story could have delved into something deeper. This simplistic setting could have explored the complexities of the human experience, no matter what the year was, you would find it deeply relatable. It could have been more thought provoking and questioned societies conventions or very nature of friendship, human fragility or something existential. In my humble little opinion this could have taken the film to a deeper level and a higher rating for me.
  • nicksmoviereviews - 13 January 2023
    One of the best feel-bad movies.
    Banshees of Inisherin features moments of sadness, humor, and melancholy. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson re-team with director Martin McDonagh since In Bruges. From the painterly landscapes of the island to the intimate character interactions, Inisherin makes the viewer part of its story. Some viewers might be looking for a more complex plot. Inisherin doesn't do this, instead it focuses on the failing friendship between two men, and they lengths they go to understand one another. If you are a fan of In Bruges' humor, then you'll be happy with Inisherin, some of the scenes had me dying of laughter due to how they're filmed. Overall, if you are looking for a slow - often humorous - look at fragile friendship, then Inisherin should suffice.
  • bankofmarquis - 13 January 2023
    Well Acted Character Study
    Back in 2008, Writer/Director Martin McDonagh scored an improbable hit with IN BRUGES, a tale of two hitmen "laying low" in...well...Bruges, Belgium while awaiting instructions from their boss. During this down time these two characters muse about the meanings of life and love in a wonderful, Oscar Nominated, character study.

    15 years later, McDonagh does it again with THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN.

    Set in the 1920s in the fictional Island of Inisherin (off the coast of Ireland), BANSHEES reunites Writer/Director McDonagh with his two stars of the previous film - Brendan Gleeson ("Mad Eye" Mooney in the Harry Potter films) and Colin Farrell (unrecognizable as The Penguin in the recent BATMAN movie) - and the resultant character study is just as interesting and intriguing to watch in a setting just as interesting...and breath-takingly beautifully bleak.

    McDonagh, more than likely, will be nominated (as he was with IN BRUGES) for his screenplay for this film - it IS Oscar worthy - but for me, he was better as the Director of this character study, pointing his camera with a keen eye and surety in what he wanted to show all the while letting the performers and the countryside tell the story.

    Both lead performers (and the Supporting Actors) are perfectly cast. Farrell, as Padraic,is the protagonist - a simple man who just wants to be able to go to the pub everyday and have conversation with his best friend, Colm (Gleeson) who, one day, proclaims that he no longer wants to be friends with Padraic. Padraic, then spends the rest of the film trying to understand why this is so, what happened and what he can do to make amends.

    Farrell will earn an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the simple (but not simple-minded) Padraic who is having a hard time grappling with deeper issues seeping into his simple life. Farrell has really grown into a fine actor and he (at this point in time) has to be considered on of the FrontRunners for the Best Actor Oscar for his work in this film.

    Just as good is Gleeson as Colm, the recalcitrant, stoic friend who stubbornly wants nothing to do with Padraic. In lesser hands, this character could have come off as "one-note" being, simply, an immovable object in the way of Padraic's irresistible force, but in Gleeson's skilled hands, Colm has layers and depth that seep out through the cracks of his stoney facade. I would not be surprised if Gleeson, too, is nominated for an Oscar (probably in the Supporting category).

    These two are capably assisted by Kerry Condon (Stacey Ehrmantraut in BETTER CAUL SAUL) and Barry Keoghn (DUNKIRK) as Padraic's sister and a friend of both Padraic and Colm (respectively). Both bring their "A" games to this film and truly show the meaning of the term "Supporting" in "Supporting Performance".

    Special mention needs to be made for the Cinematography of Ben Davis (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) who brings beauty to the bleak, stark and harsh Irish countryside. This cinematography is, actually, another character of this piece and brings strong emotional support to the performances.

    Not the fastest moving film you will ever see, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN is an interesting, intriguing - and beautifully shot - character study that will stay with you long after the film ends.

    Letter Grade: A-

    8 Stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(ofMarquis)
  • johnboysullivan-10104 - 13 January 2023
    Bit of a Let Down
    I had just heard that this film had won a few awards so sat down ready to enjoy it.

    Unfortunately, it isn't that sort of film, it reminded me of a Shakespeare play which everyone knows is fantastically well written but where most ordinary people struggle to get to the real meaning.

    The Acting and stunning scenery could not be faulted in any way and Barry Keoghan plays his minor role superbly. The problem is that it is difficult if not impossible to believe that someone would chop off 1 finger because someone spoke to them and even more unlikely that they would chop off 4 more because they were spoken to again!

    However if the premise is that the underlying message relates to the futility of the Civil War that was taking place and the level of self-mutilation that it caused to the country, it does make a bit more sense. For me that Allegory didn't really work and I would have preferred some level of explanation and even closure.

    Unfortunately it left me wondering what the main characters could have done to ensure a better outcome with the inevitable answer "No Idea".

    Please don't let me put you off watching the film as it is extremely well crafted, just not to my taste.
  • darrenbjones - 12 January 2023
    A fantastic film about violence and its consequences.
    What on the surface seems to be a tale of two men, whose friendship has ended, slowly descending into hate and violence, is actually a metaphor condemning violence, war, and conflict.

    Set against the Irish Civil War (1921-1922), when an Ireland recently united in a War of Independence (1919-1921) turned on itself, The Banshees of Inisherin is the story of Colm and Pádraic, part of a tiny community on a small island off the Irish coast, who likewise end a long friendship and turn on each other.

    Colm wakes up one day feeling that he needs to leave a legacy to the world, but his friendship with Pádraic is getting in the way, so he ends it, offering no real reason why until pushed.

    Pádraic can't accept this, continuously pestering his former friend who just wants to be left alone to create a musical legacy to leave the world. It's a decision that ultimately leads to madness and violence that both men inflict on themselves, each other, and the community around them.

    As with war, sectarian violence, and conflict, ultimately it's the community and innocents around the warring parties who suffer the most.

    Both Gleeson and Farrell offer fantastic performances, their genuine lost friendship is clear in the loss both men suffer, and there is a spectacular supporting cast helping writer director Martin McDonagh bring the film to life. The most compelling performances though (aside from the two stars) come from Barry Keoghan as Dominic, and Kerry Condon as Pádraic's sister Siobhan.

    It's a fascinating and fantastic film, the parallels to the internal conflicts that have left such visible and lasting scars on Ireland are clear, but it's the wider condemnation of war and violence that lifts this. Combined with a self important Church, and a corrupt Police, both representing Government and social structures that hinder, ignore, and exacerbate the violence through self interest or a refusal to intervene, The Banshees of Inisherin is a film that will leave you thinking for a long time after its finished.
  • ccerreta-91739 - 12 January 2023
    Textbook Example of Political Allegory Undermining Immense Talent
    The glorious Triumvirate is back: McDonagh, Farrell, and Gleeson. Let's go baby, grab a pint of Guiness, St. Paddy's comes early this year.

    But wait ... no sooner are the boys united than Brendan Gleeson becomes some sort of super nerd who wants out of the reunion. And he won't say why. And he's being _very_ passive aggressive about it. I swear, it's a testament to the man's acting ability that he so adeptly plays your emotionally insecure girlfriend from high school.

    And that's pretty much the whole flick. It is completely unbelievable from a human standpoint, to see this grown man acting like a 12 year old (and the movie does acknowledge and lampshade this to some extent). Then the reason comes out: it's cause it's an _allegory_. What are you, some rube? You don't get it? It's an allegory about the pointlessness of the political conflict in Ireland at the time. You see, the main characters have a pointless conflict just like the pointlessness of the political conflict.


    Here's the thing: grand political conflicts are power struggles between large groups. They make sense in that regard. They don't make sense in the context of a friendship. And that's the movies point: when you humanize these large political conflicts they are dumb. Large political groups are dehumanising. Okay great, I'm sure you could impress your emotionally insecure girlfriend from highschool with this one, but I expect way more from a man of McDonagh's ability.

    Because the forced political allegory tanks the whole thing. We're emotionally manipulated by watching the characters we love on screen struggle, yet there is no point to their struggle beyond this rote political message. There is no human insight to be found, because the central conflict is not human, but this grand political conflict projected onto human individuals.

    But wait, says the champagne sipping sophisticate, that is _just the point_. You are left feeling like the victims of the Irish Civil War, throwing your hands up at the pointlessness of it all.

    Well, one that makes McDonagh a war criminal for springing this on unsuspecting audiences, but two: no. The point is a movie like In Bruges, where *spoiler for In Bruges* Gleeson becomes a father to the lost Farrell, teaching him about beauty and tradition, and ultimately sacrificing himself to save his foster child. This is a profoundly human exercise --- we are given insights into lives we haven't lived. We share emotions we ourselves may not have felt, but that are very real to our condition. We leave the theater with full hearts, we kiss our loved ones, we feel joy in this existence.

    This sort of petty, nihilistic, "no one can be happy cause war is a thing" trash is very much not the point.

    I can't bear to give this movie less than six stars because most of what I love about McDonagh, Farrell, and Gleeson is on display here. It is beautifully shot and acted. The script is witty. It is an interesting movie. It's just such a massive load of wasted potential. And wasted for such a petty political message. It would have been so easy to change what's here into something beautiful. But no, beauty is for rubes. It'd be so easy to change what's here into a deeply human exploration of friendship: Farrell and Gleeson would bring it to life. But no, what's important isn't humanity, it's politics.

    War is bad and pointless. We know. So are political allegories.
  • carriebrooksolson - 12 January 2023
    NOT funny to lose fingers
    You try it. Some of us have personal experience. Are you cruel and mean in using this as a comic foil? Must be.

    This is not a dark comedy, it is just depressing and sad. There must have been a lot of joy on that island 100 years ago, but all this movie shows is lonely, dead end lives. It also has animal cruelty. So I am just stunned that this has anyone wanting to watch this, let alone nominate it for awards. We have spent three years with covid, gee, let's give people depressing a movie with no reason to appreciate the people or the landscape. Give us clever, thoughtful, meaningful - that is what we want.
  • JimMcCranie - 12 January 2023
    I don't get it
    This movie is just not for me. Also, I'm not sure how there are so many reviews rating it so highly? I get there are people who like the twisted and dark type of movies like this but seems unusually high. Did I watch the right movie? To sum it up, It was very slow to start and didn't really seem to pick up in interest throughout the rest of the movie. I did not find it entertaining in any way the the overall plot of the movie was, how should I put it, extremely odd. The actors did a very good job, I would have given the movie one star had the acting not been as good as it was. There aren't many movies I rate so poorly but this one fit the bill.
  • jvetyska-83883 - 12 January 2023
    Boring and pointless pile of madness.
    I can't actually belive I sat through the whole thing.

    Took two days, I really didn't want to watch the second half, but did it thinking there was something more to it. Nope.

    Just a simple portrait of bored and desperate people on the island. There is no depth to the story nor to any of the characters. Just go do a little bit of work and go drink and share few lines with others. That's their daily life.

    Counter to what the description says, it's not a comedy by a long shot. Nothing funny, just dumb, really dumb. And, also as it says it gets more and more crazy, it doesn't. Nothing worth my or anyone's time.

    Save your life and enjoy actual comedy or actual drama!
  • alasdaircarter - 12 January 2023
    Wow what a disappointment!
    Saw this film after all the hype and was one of the few films I thought not worth carrying on watching. Nice scenery. Acting ok. No plot to speak of and wish washy ending. Meant to be a comedy drama and ended up being neither. No reasons for the friends break up and the over the top reaction of cutting fingers off. The main suspense was this has got to get better but it never did. Some resemblance to the far superior, but then underrated Ryan's Daughter, but this is a mess of a film from the start. Nice to see Mike's daughter in law from Better Call Saul! Colin Farrell did ok , but it seemed like a lot of wasted energy and a missed opportunity.
  • reasonabledreams - 12 January 2023
    Comedy? Sad wierd not in a good way
    They are already telling you spoilers, without saying how it proceeds to the end. I kept thinking, who thought of these plot points. Making this as if it were an allegory of life. No, I don't think so. Wierd, not In a good way. A SAD picture. A Bored, Mentally unbalanced man, self harms. In an isolated, small island village in Northern Ireland. Colin a nice, simple guy, is left alone, now bitter & isolated. No wife. No girlfriend No women. His loving sister leaves for a bigger life and wants him to join her. Is he too depressed to choose life.

    Winning Golden Globes as a Black, very black, Comedy.
  • purvamandke - 12 January 2023
    Poignant, profound, brilliant
    A person suddenly asks his friend to stop talking to him and gives him a dire ultimatum if he ever tries to do so!! A plot that intrigued me so much so that I decided to watch the movie.

    I somehow liked the name too! Maybe it's just the multiple "sh"'s which make it sound nice, like Colm would say!

    It wasn't a comedy all the way, the genre you think it is when you start watching the movie.

    Set at the time of the Irish Civil war, this movie offers a perspective on the repercussions of the war on the people living on the island of Isherin. It's an irony as the island's far off from the actual war grounds, yet the war acts like a Banshee of Isherin, heralding death. Listening to the war shots while leading their daily life, causes distress and paranoia amongst the people of Isherin, which eventually takes it's toll!

    "With the fear of unknown, the paranoia of time running out, what would you do?" A question that is handled by the 4 main characters in their own unique way!

    Like the ocean in the backdrop, the movie runs wide and deep. It takes you places! For me, it probably took me to the ocean, somewhere deep underwater where it was really dark, at times I was on the surface with the shining waters, at times the water stung my eyes, then I saw the sun, sometimes I was washed over by the waves, at times I felt calm when the water was still.

    To leave a viewer with such magnitude of emotions is a definite sign of a great film and a brilliant filmmaker! The actors were excellent, the screenplay was brilliant, backed up by some great music and stunning cinematography! Colin Farrell was absolutely top notch, so was all the supporting cast!

    A beautiful film, one that I will probably never forget!
  • gstavb - 12 January 2023
    The In Bruges trio at it again.
    McDonagh is back with his Bruge pals and his unique aesthetic.

    A movie about the 'break up' of two longtime friends,after a drastic and sudden decision of one. Brendan Gleeson(Colm) is impressive and as always at his best with his great performance and perfect chemsitry with Farrell(Pádraic) as the spark of the movie's fuse ,as impressive are Condon(Siobhán), one of the greatest controlled supporting preformances I've seen, as the sister of Pádraic and the big fish in the small pond of the incredibly beautiful fictional Isle of Inisherin and Keoghan(Dominic) delivering a intricate and brilliant performance as the town fool and abused son of the town's guard ,but most of the credit must go to Collin Farell's Pádraic. Farrell's performance and particularly his facial expressions letting us slightly into his exact silent contemplation in those moments regarding his situation is at times mesmerizing. There's a lot of McDonagh's witty, excellently crafted dialogue holding and guiding us through this tale, but the contradiction of the beautifuly shot backround of this picturesque Irish island and it's simple and lonely everyday lifestyle paired with the humourous dialogue balancing each other out is an uncomfortable joy to behold.
  • hector-61488 - 12 January 2023
    Where to begin
    In Bruges was a lot, a lot , a lot , a lot better. Its not the same movie, and I shouldnt expect anything like it to be the same movie, but blssdy hell.. if you can get passed the first 30min of Banshees you are well on your way to seeing the entire thing, out of pure endurance, to in the end just curse out loud you didnt stop before the 30min mark.

    Where did they ever think this was good. And subtle is good for me, but not even that. It was just.... the two actors seemed to aligned in Bruges , but here... felt like it was directed by the wrong person maybe. Just did not create anything inside with what my eyes and ears could pick up.