Irish Film Institute -BYZANTIUM



119 minutes, Ireland-U.K., 2012, Colour, D-Cinema

Two hundred years old and never been kissed – growing up is hard to do when you’re one of the undead and your mother keeps moving from town to town lest the family’s dark secret be discovered. Remarkably, Neil Jordan’s latest offering finds a fresh take on blood-drinking mythology, as troubled daughter Saoirse Ronan recounts her tale in a concerted effort to make sense of her life, while Gemma Arterton uses her mercilessly voluptuous wiles to play maternal protector. With the film’s seedy contemporary seaside setting, its love of the Gothic and time-spanning storytelling, screenwriter Moira Buffini proves right at home in quintessential Neil Jordan territory.

Starting with a very Irish slant on vampire legend, this certainly has its narrative foibles, yet ultimately balances bloody mayhem with a palpable, poetic depth of yearning. Good to see Jordan going for the jugular again. 

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