Connect with us


The Banshees of Inisherin Review | He Likes Me, He Likes Me Not

PFF: Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson shine in Martin McDonagh’s film that teeters between gripping and dull.



To give it credit, for a film about one man trying to figure out why another no longer wants to be his friend, The Banshees of Inisherin is a pretty effective film at keeping you interested. Perhaps that’s due to the fact that if Brendan Gleeson suddenly told me he no longer liked me, I’d be overly concerned too, but for whatever reason, this simple premise is enough to make a near-two-hour film about friendship, loneliness and stubbornness. 

Right on the cusp of the end of the Irish Civil War and set in the small fictional island of Inisherin, The Banshees of Inisherin tells the story of two former friends that begins a feud that blows up to the point that you may as well call this the island’s equivalent to The Troubles. 

Colin Farrell in the film The Banshees of Inisherin. Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

“Why doesn’t he open the door to me no more,” asks Pádraic (Colin Farrell), as he hunches over the bar at his local pub. This is a pub where Pádaric and Colm (Gleeson) would spend countless hours yet here he is all alone. That line sums up where the conflict begins; which was on one fateful morning when Pádraic stops by his friend Colm’s home. It appears to be common practice at this point, hence why the former is so surprised when he sees the latter sneaking off to the pub that they frequently spend hours upon hours engaging in “aimless chatting,” as Colm puts it.  

Does the whole conflict sound like something usually left in the hallways of elementary school? Absolutely, but that’s part of the almost indescribable appeal — perhaps intrigue is the more appropriate word —  of The Banshees of Inisherin. Seeing two grown men arguing over such a minute problem in the grand scheme of things — especially when you consider the larger war happening around them — is strangely satisfying. Maybe this is mostly due to Farrell’s performance. Farrell — who has had a stellar year — has the puppy dog eyes that make it understandable as to why Colm tries to show some restraint in the beginning. Pádraic has a level of naivety and is a tad unsophisticated, making him a character you empathize with despite his annoying nature.

And it is funny that Colm’s argument really sounds like that friend who’s one year older than you but claims to be “too old” to hang out with you once they make the leap from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school. It’s not complete rubbish, however. Colm knows he only has a finite number of nights left on this beautiful island that they call home, and he wants to spend those minutes doing things he finds fulfilling; not “aimless chatting.” 

Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan in the film The Banshees of Inisherin. Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Colm also wants to be remembered for something. As he (incorrectly) states, Mozart was remembered in the 17th century. Conversations, memories and “being nice” won’t be remembered, according to Colm. What will be, you might ask? Well, according to Colm, it’s music. Now in all fairness, Colm is an uber-talented violinist, but it also seems quite extreme to simply cut out one friend to improve your songwriting process. What if Paul McCartney just cut out John Lennon? Would “Let it Be” even exist? 

Rounding out the ensemble are Kerry Condon as Siobhán, Pádaric’s sister with whom he shares a house; Barry Keoghan as Dominic, the abused son of the island’s corrupt policeman (played by Gary Lydon); and Sheila Flitton, who plays Mrs. McCormick, a mysterious figure in the town who seems to drift between everywhere and know everything. Mrs. McCormick slightly resembles Death from The Seventh Seal — especially in the nighttime beach scene — and is as chilling as she is comedic. 

Keoghan is a delight as a naive kid who looks up to Pádaric. In a sense, Pádaric is the closest thing he has to a family considering the father that waits at home for him beats him mercilessly on a number of occasions. Dominic also has a crush on Siobhán, which is against any “bro code” in existence. Even still, Dominic is a cute puppy that you can’t be too blunt with; especially because of his home life.

Siobhán is the sweet sister of Pádaric who is doing her best to support and be there for Pádaric while having a lot on her own plate. Towards the end of the film, Siobhán is forced to make some tough decisions of her own. Whether it’s due to pity she takes on her brother or her own fear to spread her wings, Siobhán takes on a role that forces her to do the heavy lifting back home. She’s faced with a big decision late in the film that would tear anyone to shreds.

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in the film The Banshees of Inisherin. Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

But for as good as I think The Banshees of Inisherin can be in certain moments, it’s mostly the first hour and change that is interesting The second half becomes rather monotonous, which is ironic considering what Colm calls Pádaric throughout the film. There was a point in the story where it felt as though we were reaching a logical conclusion. Unfortunately, much to my dismay, I glanced at my watch and realized there was still a good half hour left at that point. The stakes begin to get raised after a few occurrences of Colm asking Pádraic to leave him alone — probably enough times to count on one full hand — but it begins to grow tiresome in the same way the gaslighting of Florence Pugh in Don’t Worry Darling did. You’ll begin needing a pint every time the film begins walking in circles in the last 45 mins or so. And simply put, there are only so many times you can walk up and down the main road of Inisherin (as beautiful as it may be).

And believe me, Inisherin is a gorgeous sight to see. Filmed in Inishmore and Achill Island, The Banshees of Inisherin transports you into this beautiful island with the help of cinematographer Ben Davis. There are some aerial shots that capture the grand scope of the island much in the way similar shots on Survivor do in the leadups to challenges. Whether a stylistic choice or not, I am curious about the lighting of the film. The film’s daylight scenes are often too bright to the point the film looks like a Hallmark movie while the scenes at night are way too dark. Both of these extremes are mostly found in the first half of the film, luckily, but whether or not this was intentional is beyond me. 

The Banshees of Inisherin will be released in theaters on October 21, 2022


Andrew is an entertainment journalist and film "critic" who has written for the likes of Above the Line, Below the Line, Collider, Film Focus Online, /Film and The Hollywood Handle among others. Leader of the Kaitlyn Dever Fanclub.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Sung Kang’s ‘Shaky Shivers’ is a Campy Horror-Comedy With Superb Performances



Brooke Markham and VyVy Nguyen in 'Shaky Shivers' (Cineverse)

If you thought that Sung Kang can only thrill you with amazing car stunts, then you are wrong. The acclaimed star is set to take you on an entertaining ride with his directorial debut titled ‘Shaky Shivers’.

The latest horror-comedy film marks the feature directorial debut of Sung Kang, renowned for his roles in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise and several other big projects. The movie stars Brooke Markham and VyVy Nguyen, with an ensemble cast including Jimmy Bellinger, Erin Daniels, and Herschel Sparber.

A still from ‘Shaky Shivers’ (Cineverse)

From the very beginning, ‘Shaky Shivers’ grabs hold of your attention with the comedic chemistry between lead actresses Brooke Markham (Lucy) and VyVy Nguyen (Karen). Their hilarious banter and dynamic friendship draw you into their world of magic, mayhem, and monstrous encounters. While a few other characters make appearances, the heart of the film rests on the shoulders of Karen and Lucy, whose relatable and believable friendship makes the story even more bewitching.

One of the best aspects of the film is how Sung Kang skillfully directs the title despite limited cast and limited settings. It still manages to keep audiences engaged and entertained. Kang also pays homage to classic horror films like ‘American Werewolf in London’ and injects fresh energy into the scenes while showcasing his comedic flair.

A still from ‘Shaky Shivers’ (Cineverse)

If you are one of those who enjoy unapologetically goofy and fun movies, ‘Shaky Shivers’ is undoubtedly a fun watch. Embracing its campiness, the film doesn’t try to be anything other than an enjoyable ride filled with supernatural elements. The characters have a helpful book of spells that they use to solve problems, which adds a clever and funny element to the story that will make you laugh..

While categorized as a horror-comedy, ‘Shaky Shivers’ leans more towards comedy than horror. However, don’t worry, as the supernatural beings like werewolves, zombies, and witches make their presence known throughout. The practical effects and impressive monster makeup, reminiscent of old-school horror flicks from the 70s and 80s, immerse you in a world of creatures and enchantment.

A still from ‘Shaky Shivers’ (Cineverse)

The plot of ‘Shaky Shivers’ escalates in an exciting and compelling manner, filled with unpredictable twists and goofy surprises.  While it may not leave you terrified, the perfect blend of supernatural ambiance and comedic moments guarantees plenty of laughter and enjoyment.

In conclusion, ‘Shaky Shivers’ is a must-watch horror-comedy that delivers on laughs, friendship, and supernatural encounters. With its engaging storyline, talented cast, and Sung Kang’s impressive directorial debut, the film is a delightful addition to the genre. So grab a large tub of popcorn and take your family for this fun-filled ride.

Continue Reading


Sex Education Season 4 is a Spectacular (and Overstuffed) Conclusion to One of Netflix’s Extraordinary Series



Official posted of 'Sex Education' Season 4 (Netflix)

When the first season of Sex Education came out on Netflix in 2019, it felt pretty daring and exciting for everyone. While there were many shows about teenagers and sex, ‘Sex Education’ stood out because it talked about these topics openly and covered them in a pretty detailed manner. Without any guesses, the show became really popular and is now considered a classic on Netflix. For 3 long seasons, viewers have seen students of Moordale, and everyone around them, dealing with a lot of complications, but now, it’s time to say goodbye to some of our character as the Netflix series has returned for its fourth and final edition.

At the end of Season 3, Moordale Secondary School closed down. This means that Otis, Eric, Aimee, Jackson, Vivienne, Cal, and Ruby have to go to a new school, Cavendish Sixth Form College. Some of them fit in well, while others struggle. And while Otis tries to focus on his therapy work, he finds out that there are other young people who are experts on relationships and sex in town.

Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn in ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 (Netflix)

One of the strengths of Sex Education is its diverse and inclusive representation. The show shines a light on various sexual orientations, gender identities, and cultural backgrounds, providing a platform for underrepresented voices. Season 4 continues to explore these themes, introducing new characters who add depth and complexity to the narrative. On ghe other hand, the only problem with Season 4 is that there are too many things going on at once. There are so many sub-plots that might distract you at times and make you feel that this story might have looked good if there was another season in pipeline.

Even then, the writing remains sharp and witty, creating relatable and genuine teenage characters who grapple with their own insecurities and desires.

Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong in Sex Education Season 4 (Netflix)

The performances in ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 are consistently strong. Asa Butterfield brings vulnerability and charm to his role as Otis, portraying the character’s growth and maturity. Ncuti Gatwa shines as Eric, capturing both his strength and vulnerability as he navigates new relationships and personal challenges. Emma Mackey delivers a nuanced performance as Maeve, showcasing her character’s intelligence and emotional depth. Mimi Keene is stupendous as well and bring another layer to her character which was so nice to see. Meanwhile, Gillian Anderson does what she is best at: deliver another extraordinary performance.

Emma Mackey as Maeve in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)

On the other hand, Aimee Lou Wood continues to mesmerise us with her charm and simplicity. Directors should definitely look at her and give her a leading role soon because she deserves it. Another actor that is surely a star in the making is Anthony Lexa, who portrays Abbi in Season 4. Her performance adds an additional charm to the series and gives a hope to Trans actors that they can too achieve their dreams.

A still from ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 (Netflix)

The final edition tackles difficult topics with sensitivity and care, highlighting the importance of consent, communication, and understanding in relationships. The show’s ability to tackle these issues head-on without becoming preachy is a testament to its thoughtful storytelling.

While the final season of ‘Sex Education’ does have some pacing and narrative issues, the strength of the performances, the thoughtful exploration of important issues, and the show’s commitment to inclusivity make it a satisfying and engaging watch. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to these beloved characters, but the legacy of Sex Education will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the television landscape.

Sex Education Season 4. (L to R) Mimi Keene as Ruby, Asa Butterfield as Otis in Sex Education Season 4 (Netflix)

In conclusion, ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 continues to deliver a standout and boundary-pushing narrative that explores sexuality, identity, and personal growth with humor and sensitivity. Despite some minor flaws, the show remains a shining example of inclusive storytelling and offers a heartfelt farewell to its beloved characters.

Some goodbyes are hard and this is certainly one of them.

Continue Reading


Flora and Son is a Heartfelt Exploration of Family and Music



Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in a still from 'Flora and Son' (Apple TV+)

Flora and Son, directed by John Carney, tells the compelling story of Flora, a single mother struggling to navigate the challenges of parenthood and find her own identity. Starring Eve Hewson as Flora, the film dives into the complexities of motherhood, relationships, and the power of music in bringing people together. There have been a lot of musicals in recent times that take a very complex route in telling a story, but Flora and Son is a bit different than all of them. The story is really simple and that’s what makes the film such a treat to watch.

The movie opens with Flora enjoying a night out at a club in Dublin, only to end up in a disappointing hook-up. Flora’s life is far from perfect, as she grapples with her troubled teenage son Max (Orén Kinlan) and a less-than-supportive ex-husband, Ian (Jack Reynor). Flora’s interactions with Max are often tense, filled with sarcastic banter and strained attempts to connect with him. As a single mother, Flora faces numerous hardships and setbacks, leading her to doubt her own potential. Her attempts to do right by her son are often met with indifference or resistance. However, a pivotal moment occurs when Flora acquires a guitar for Max, unaware that it will have a profound impact on her own journey. Flora’s decision to learn to play the guitar leads her to Jeff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a songwriter and teacher based in California. Despite the distance between them, their connection is palpable, and through music, they bridge the gap. Jeff encourages Flora to embrace her creativity and express herself authentically, unlocking a passion she didn’t know she possessed.

Eve Hewson in a still from ‘Flora and Son’ (Apple TV+)

The performances in Flora and Son are exceptional, particularly Eve Hewson’s portrayal of Flora. She effortlessly portrays a range of emotions, from humor and charm to vulnerability and raw emotion. Hewson’s nuanced performance brings depth and authenticity to the character, making her relatable and captivating. It will be a travesty if she is not spotted by a big filmmaker and gives her a chance to lead another extraordinary movie. On the other hand, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is soulful and gives a performance that is really enchanting. The chemistry between Hewson and Gordon-Levitt, even through virtual interactions, adds an extra layer of depth to their characters’ connection.

Carney’s direction creates an intimate yet heartfelt atmosphere in the film.  The use of music as a driving force in the narrative is a testament to Carney’s storytelling prowess, showcasing the transformative power of melodies and lyrics. One of the film’s strengths is its refusal to tie everything up neatly in a predictable manner. Instead, Flora and Son choose a more realistic approach, leaving some loose ends and logistics unresolved. This choice allows the characters to continue their journey of self-discovery, leaving viewers with a sense of hope and possibility.

Eve Hewson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a still from ‘Flora and Son’ (Apple TV+)

In conclusion, Flora and Son is a touching exploration of a single mother’s journey to find her voice, both as a musician and as a parent. With exceptional performances and a thoughtful narrative, the film resonates with authenticity and emotional depth. Carney’s direction and the film’s emphasis on the transformative power of music make Flora and Son a standout family drama. The simplicity and innocence is what makes it such a heart-warming watch. This film will make your heart sing.

Continue Reading

Popular Now



Trending is a property of Coastal House LLC. © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies/owners.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x