Dancing at Lughnasa Reviews
Typical of irish prose, lore and film, this is melancholy and sad and you wonder from where they summon the will to press on, through another day. One can only assume it was their faith, for they had little else but each other.
It was a slow, sorrowful waltz through the darkest shadows of spirit but it was strong story driven and I could not help but like it. Especially the one lighthearted free-for-all dance scene when they finally give in to the urge to shake off the shackles of maturity and just DANCE!
I fell just short of loving it but I really liked it a lot and will long remember it fondly ~
[i]Dancing at Lughnasa[/i] is about the collapse of one Irish family. Their beloved, long-gone brother, Father Jack (Michael Gambon), has returned from Africa and his work among the lepers, but it turns out that he's not converted anyone and seems to have been converted to Pagan ways himself. His disgrace is responsible for getting Kit (Streep) fired from her teaching job. Chrissy (Catherine McCormack) had a child (Mike, played by Darrell Johnston) out of wedlock; he's our narrator (Gerald McSorley), and in the story, he's maybe nine. Maggie (Kathy Burke) is trying to keep the household together. Aggie (Brid Brennan) is in a dying business, making hand-knitted gloves. And Rosie (Sophie Thompson, Emma's sister) is a moderately retarded woman in love with a highly unappropriate, married man.
I think the greatest problem with the family, contrary to her own beliefs, is Kit. If she'd let her hold slip a little, the girls would've been able to find other ways of making a living while they were, you know, [i]young[/i]. Chrissy, in particular, could have found something, even with a young son. But she could not leave the family and Kit, even though it would clearly have been for the best. And, of course, Jack may have been crazy, but he was happier without Kit pressuring him to be normal.
And, in the end, the sisters share one perfect moment. Kit has spent the entire movie demanding that the girls forget the old Irish feast of Lughnasa, calling it merely something leading up to the Feast of the Blessed Assumption. However, in the end, tradition and love of the dance catches up to her, too, and she and her sisters share their last perfect moment, watched over by Father Jack and Mike, who can see it but not share it. It is a moment of just the girls, the sisters. It is a beautiful, pure moment, never to be repeated.
A word on Irish dancing--the Irish have been mocked for step dancing, because it's all standing in place and not moving their arms. This is because the English forbid dancing, but step dancing didn't count, because they were standing in place and not moving their arms. So [i]Riverdance[/i] is, I guess, throwing off the shackles of English imperialism. The dancing these girls do, I believe, predates those rules and is what the English were forbidding. Actually, the English pretty much banned all Irish culture--and, after the Jacobite revolt, Scottish as well.
[font=Book Antiqua] [color=#000033]I received another movie in the mail this past weekend called; "Dancing at Lughnasa". I liked this film but there could have something more. The cast was great but the script left a lot out. "Dancing at Lughnasa" is based on a stage play but I'm not sure if this autobiography or not even though it's written as if it is. I did enjoy this film but the script does need a little work. The writers left out what happens to certain characters and they hinted to certain situations but didn?t go in to it. The writers just left them be with out any explanation. "Dancing at Lughnasa" is about this young boy who lives with his mother and her four sisters. One of the boy's aunts is over controlling school spinster who's job keeps the whole family together gets [/color][color=#000000]discontinued[/color][color=#000033], it puts the whole family in dire straights. When an uncle comes back from Africa due to an illness, makes the whole family buckle down. During that summer the boy's father comes back into the boy's life after a long absence before going to fight over in Spain. All of this makes an interesting summer for the young boy. The whole family learns about one another and puts every thing in prospective. I would suggest this film to any one. I know my review didn't do justice for this film but please see what you think. There isn't any bonus features on the DVD but it's worth the watch.[/color][color=#000033][/color][/font]
[font=Book Antiqua]Fritz ;) [/font][/size]