Film Review – The Boys and Girl From Clare County
We were thrilled when Kim from California agreed to tell us about a few of her favorite Irish films. Here’s her take on The Boys and Girl From Clare County.
The Boys and Girl From Clare County
3-3.5 out of 5 Shamrocks
The Boys and Girl from Clare County (2003) is a cute film that focuses on a group of musicians from Liverpool traveling to County Clare for a traditional Irish music competition. This comedy/drama takes place in the late 1960’s early 1970’s. It stars Bernard Hill, Andrea Corr of The Corrs, and of course Colm Meany. I am beginning to think there is some national policy that mandates Mr. Meany be in all Irish films! Other actors include Charlotte Bradley, Stephen Brennan, Eamonn Owens and Shaun Evans.
Jimmy (Colm Meaney of course) is an Irishman living in Liverpool who directs a céilidh band traveling to a national competition of traditional Celtic music in County Clare Ireland. John- Joe (Bernard Hill), local Co. Clare farmer, directs an Irish band who is also competing in the competition and won it last year. As the story unfolds it is apparent that there is animosity and a strong rivalry brewing between Jimmy and John-Joe. Andrea Corr’s character Anne who plays fiddle in John-Joe’s band struggles with a new romance and an over protective mother (Charlotte Bradley) as well as the skeletons in the family closet. Soon we learn the trouble with Jimmy and John Joe is more than music its woman who came between them, Maisie, played by Charlotte Bradley.
The film’s scenery is lovely though it is not filmed in Ireland but on the Isle of Mann. The plot is predictable but the strongest performances are from the veterans Meany and Hill who create the romantic “everyman” characters we imagine when we dream of Ireland. And Andrea Corr is a sweet “cailín” as the beautiful but tortured Anne longing for independence and confused about who her father is. Still, it does have a quaint charm to it that makes us long to be in the pubs of Clare with them.
There is humor, drama and some surprises in store for the viewer. Although very predictable, the music is good and the scenery is just what I was looking for in terms of getting “my Irish fix”. I doubt it won any awards, but all in all it is a great Irish flick for a rainy day. Irresistible in fact, to anyone with the slightest drip of Irish blood pumping through their veins! Even those non-Irish viewers with a weakness for Irish plays, Irish music, Irish dancing, lilting Irish accents or pints of Guinness will enjoy this film as long as they are not expecting Academy Award winning performances. So pour yourself a drink, light the fire, curl up on the sofa and prepare to be transported to the Fair Isle for the next 90 minutes!