Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Irish Talent in Toronto

Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Sheridan, and Rooney Mara at the Toronto Film Festival.

By Tom Deignan, Contributor
October / November 2016

Take a deep breath, because the Toronto International Film Festival back in September had not one, not two but at least six films with Irish ties that will soon be making their way to U.S. screens. The most anticipated, clearly, is Jim Sheridan’s latest The Secret Scripture, based on the celebrated Sebastian Barry novel. Sheridan (In the Name of the Father, In America) is bringing Barry’s complex book to the big screen. The book revolves around a 100-year-old Sligo woman who has been detained in an institution for decades and the reasons for her detention. The Secret Scripture also stars Irish American Rooney Mara and Irish actors Jack Reynor and Aidan Turner. Also screening in Toronto was Irish director Aisling Walsh’s biopic Maudie, starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins. The film tells the life of celebrated Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis. Irish director Alan Gilsenan was also on the scene in Toronto, touting his new movie Unless, based on the novel of the same title by Pulitzer Prize winner Carol Shields. Unless stars Catherine Keener as well as Brendan Coyle, the son of an Irish immigrant to England.

Dublin-born director Lorcan Finnegan also presented his debut film Without Name, which is set in Ireland and features as Irish cast including Niamh Alger and Alan McKenna.

Variety described Without Name this way: “Part-psychological thriller, depicting the growing deliriousness of a man in mid-life crisis, Without Name is also set against the background of recent rampant property speculation in Ireland.”

Wrapping up the Irish flicks in Toronto was John Butler’s Handsome Devil and Gerard Barrett’s Brain on Fire. ♦

More Irish Eye on Hollywood:

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The Gunn Brothers

Mike O’Malley Helms “Survivor’s Remorse”

Margaret Atwood’s Canadian Irish Murder Thriller Gets TV Treatment

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