★★★★ Irish Times
Joint winner of Best Irish Feature at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, A Date for Mad Mary, based on Yasmine Akram’s theatrical monologue, sees director Darren Thornton make an auspicious feature debut, centred on an exceptional performance by lead actress Seána Kerslake. Upon release following a six month prison sentence, Mary returns home to Drogheda, eager to reunite with best friend Charlene (Charleigh Bailey), for whom she is about to act as maid of honour.
Annoyed by Charlene’s assumption that she won’t have a date for the wedding, Mary joins a dating agency, embarking on a series of disastrous encounters before events take an unexpected turn. However, this is no formulaic rom-com; the focus instead is on female relationships and a character in transition who veers from violent to vulnerable, abrasive to funny, in Kerslake’s admirably nuanced turn. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
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