Irish Eye on Hollywood:
The Trending Trope of the Irish Maid
In the wake of the well-received Netflix show Alias Grace, is the Irish maid who happens to be around when a horrific murder happens turning into a bit of a trend? Released last year, Alias Grace, based on the Margaret Atwood novel, explored the role a 19th century Irish immigrant to Canada may or may not have played in the murder of a prominent local citizen.
Now, due out in late spring or early summer, comes Lizzie, a biographical film about the notorious Lizzie Borden, who (as the old song puts it) “took an axe / and gave her mother forty whacks.” And when Lizzie “saw what she had done / she gave her father forty-one.” Borden herself was not Irish, but a central figure in her notorious case (and, naturally, the film) is the family’s Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan. In the forthcoming movie, Borden is played by Chloe Sevigny, while Sullivan is portrayed by Twilight saga star Kristen Stewart. Also starring in Lizzie is Irish actress Fiona Shaw and Irish American theater veteran Denis O’Hare. Lizzie premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival back in January and is slated to open in a few months. ♦
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