Producers: Stephen Woolley, Alan Maloney, Neil Jordan. Writers: Neil Jordan, Patrick McCabe
Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Ruth Negga, Stephen Rea
Returning to the boundless imagination of The Butcher Boy novelist Pat McCabe, Jordan here recreates Ireland’s turbulent 1970s as an odyssey of gender-bending possibility, courtesy of the irrepressible, cross-dressing Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden (Cillian Murphy). Abandoned on a doorstep as a baby, an adult Kitten embarks on a quest to find her mother, moving from Northern Ireland to London as she hopes to escape terrorism and prejudice; both, however, prove inescapable as Kitten makes her way through a harsh and exploitative society. Murphy triumphs in the central role with a blend of determined flounce and bruised fragility, holding together a picaresque narrative which ultimately relinquishes momentum for in-the moment revelation. These moments are, however, memorable: Brendan Gleeson plays a psychotic Womble, Liam Neeson a sympathetically flawed cleric, and an IRA nerve centre is uniquely reimagined. Despite this fizzy stylisation, sight is never lost of the heartbreak and horror only just kept at bay.
Notes by Trevor Johnston.
128 minutes, Ireland/UK, 2005, Colour
15.40, 17.20, 20.50
A HIDDEN LIFE
ARCHIVE AT LUNCHTIME JANUARY 2020: PROG 2
IFI & SILK ROAD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2020: TOMMASO + Q&A
13.00, 15.20, 18.10
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council