What Richard Did finds Lenny Abrahamson taking significant steps forward as a filmmaker. Based on Kevin Powers’ novel Bad Day in Blackrock, it’s the story of Richard Karlsen (an impressive Jack Reynor): 18 years old, mature, responsible, popular, loved by family, friends, and girlfriend, with the world at his feet and in danger of losing everything because of a single act of out-of-character rage.
It’s the first of Abrahamson’s films not to be written by Mark O’Halloran and, rather than focusing on the marginalised as he has in his previous work, here we are among Dublin’s privileged and affluent young with their preoccupations and conversations rendered with note-perfect acuity by writer Malcolm Campbell.
Yet much remains of what has made him one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Irish cinema; a visual and narrative economy of style and subtlety of pacing that have become the director’s hallmarks, and at its core, the story of a male relationship, that of Richard and his devastated father (an outstanding and powerful performance by Lars Mikkelsen). (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
A fundraiser screening of What Richard Did for the National Campaign For The Arts will take place on October 2nd at 20.00.
There will be a Lenny Abrahamson Retrospective from October 6th to 14th.