Charming and refreshing, Waking Ned Devine is one of those “by-the-book” comedies that are just so much fun. It seems both off-beat and mainstream at the same time. Almost without a fault, every movie set on the British Isles is a winner. They are either really difficult movies about someone losing everything or heartwarming comedies like this one. It’s simply stunning to see that although these movies are mostly starring a bit older folk they are still very interesting to younger viewers. That speaks about the power of a truly well-made movie. A movie that transcends age and your personal development in favor of the universal truth.
Waking Ned Devine is a bit different, mostly because they didn’t hold back with the script. It’s cheeky, intelligent, and above all honest. This also means that there are no inappropriate jokes, rushed events, or “what about the children” mantra. Just pure fun. While we’re talking about watered-down humor for kids, I have to quote The Great Carlin: “Fuck the children”. Some things are meant for adults, and Waking Ned Devine is one of them. The characters we’ll meet are colorful and authentic and soon you’ll have your favorites. The pacing is steady and enables you to completely disappear in this picturesque village.
Tullymore is a tiny Irish village with only 52 inhabitants. There’s not much to do here, with younger folk moving to cities rapidly, most of the villagers are over 60. And when you’re over 60, you play the lottery…
The beautiful Irish countryside keeps surprising me, and it seems that with every movie it just gets better and better. And these are not some huge Hollywood productions but modest ones, harnessing the power of nature. With all the working from home craze these days, Tullymore seems like a perfect place to hunker down. Now I just have to see what’s the Irish policy on weed. Ahh shit, I guess I’ll settle for a pint then.
The acting was, of course, perfect and it seemed that everyone had a good time on the set, which is always a plus. While we’re younger, we usually perceive older people as conservative and fitting a certain mold. I love movies that break that misconception that once you’re old you have to behave a certain way. It’s empowering both younger and older people. I try to do the same in my personal life, not conforming to what’s expected of me as now a middle-aged guy.
And if you think that writing that didn’t hurt a bit, you’re wrong. However, I’m mindful of that feeling and upon closer examination find it to be a remanence of exactly the system the bore it directly into my mind. And I will stop here before the rant intensifies. If you’re looking for similar movies, check out The Grand Seduction starring Brendan Gleeson. Enjoy.
Director: Kirk Jones
Writer: Kirk Jones
Cast: Ian Bannen, David Kelly, Fionnula Flanagan, Susan Lynch, James Nesbitt, Fintan McKeown
Fun Facts: Writer/director Kirk Jones did not have time to cast the role of Father Mulligan before shooting began. On location, he asked gaffer Larry Randall if he would play the part. Randall agreed, and appears in the finished film.