The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh’s return to the Venice Film Festival after 2017’s triumphant Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, had its world premiere Monday night, getting the biggest response from fest audience so far this year with a 15-minute standing ovation.
McDonagh and stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson were in the audience for the debut of Searchlight Pictures’ reunion of the In Bruges trio. The response was enough to force a delay in the next world premiere screening tonight, the anticipated Don’t Worry Darling.
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This is Oscar winner McDonagh’s first feature set in his native Ireland. It takes place in 1923 on the fictional island of Inisherin, and follows lifelong pals Pádraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson), who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Pádraic, aided by his sister Siobhán (Kerry Condon) and troubled young islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), endeavors to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Pádraic’s repeated efforts only strengthen his former friend’s resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences.
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In his review, Deadline’s Todd McCarthy praised the film as “a simple and diabolical tale of a friendship’s end shot through with bristling humor and sudden moments of startling violence,” noting McDonagh’s “long-proven ingenuity at spinning a mere anecdote into a full-bodied work of substance.”
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Earlier in the afternoon, Gleeson commented, “I’m glad to see male friendship as something valuable at the moment when the readjustment of everyone’s relationships with everybody is under reconsideration. The valuing of male friendship against a bromance to me is very deep and pertinent right now.”
Also on the subject of the film’s interpersonal relationships, Farrell spoke at length about how he believes the movie can act as a counter to today’s world, which he described as the “informational age” that “takes us away from the intimacy that’s required and interests that are needed to exist.”
He continued, “When push comes to shove we will always return to good chats. It’s like the people who don’t believe in God until they’ve overdosed on a drug.”
The film hits domestic theaters on October 21.
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