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The Halo Effect

Director: Lance Daly


This humane, realist drama from Lance Daly explores his common territory – inner city Dublin – through the figure of Fatso (Stephen Rea), a genial chip shop owner whose gambling problem lands him in more trouble than he can deal with. Fatso’s capacity for kindness – he employs some of the city’s worst workers (Kerry Condon, Simon Delaney, Grattan Smith) and houses its most desperate individuals – fails to suit a balance sheet that sees him constantly losing money to gambling. Fatso attempts to solve his problems by taking the help of Dublin’s loan sharks (including Gerard McSorley and John Kavanagh) but this only drags him deeper into the mire, leaving him in need of a big win to remedy his problems. Daly had experience of working in a chipper before making the film and the film’s realism benefits from this knowledge, whilst Rea offers a standout performance in this working-class drama.  

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