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Dancing at Lughnasa Reviews

Page 2 of 5
October 11, 2012
This movie gave me a feeling of emptiness and sadness. And I felt pity for the sisters, their whole existence was all the same... But the actresses are marvellous.
March 22, 2012
Seriously, nothing can even be said here. There were five sisters living in a house in Ireland... yeah, that's all I got.
March 18, 2012
I was bored to sobs. A terrific cast of excellent actors wasted on a film without any semblance of a plot. There are many disconnected vignettes which go nowhere. The ending of the film is not credible. I believe the flimsy script may have worked as a stage play, but it did not work on film. All of the actors work hard to give good performances, but their genuine talent is wasted on this drab, dismal and depressing film.
Sunil J

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2011
A strong cast and a a sweet story about sisters in a small Irish town.
June 18, 2011
A poor adaptation really. Whilst Meryl Streep puts in a typically excellent performance, she cannot save this. "Dancing at Lughnasa", the play, is very significant culturally, but maybe it's just not meant to be done on film. Either way, this film doesn't succeed in achieving what a staging of the drama can do.
February 4, 2011
Excellent. We had seen the play at the theatre, and watched the movie the following night. Both were good, with the play demanding more work to understand than the film. More words of explanation in the play, and it was lovely to see how these were translated into facial expression by the actors in the movie. A good ensemble cast, all five sisters well characterised. There were differences of emphasis between the two scripts, with a a couple of plot lines which differed completely. The power of the church is underplayed in the movie, together with the parallel between Lughnasa celebrations in Ireland and 'pagan' activity in Uganda. A beautiful film, well worth a look.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

August 21, 2008
nominated for best picture by NBR

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2010
Where is the plot? Out of curiousity I would like to know if there was actually a plot. I saw some interesting and well-done characters, but I never saw them do much of anything, and nothing ever happened. I am thus led to the conclusion that these actors were paid to make characters and talk, but there was never a script written for them to know what to do in a scene. I'm sorry to those of you that liked the movie, but I couldn't find a purpose or a reason to make this film.
July 19, 2009
Meryl Streep is in it. You know it has been chosen for its value. 1936 in Ireland for 5 unmarried sisters will not be a comedy. There is pain and fear and confusion and laughter and love; all the normal stuff. One sister thinking she is responsible for everyone (it's 1936) and four sisters trying to find some degree of independence and happiness. There are real people in this movie. It is truly worth wtching.
Nikki M

Super Reviewer

March 18, 2009
I never knew this was Brian Friel until I watched it, loved every moment of it, interesting story, with a superb voice over feel to the movie. Great cast for this award winning play, a must see!
December 10, 2008
no thanks not my kinda thing
June 24, 2008
Only irish landscapes are good. The movie is boring and badly made. Even Meryl Streep was bad.
June 15, 2008
one of the best films ever!!!!
May 29, 2008
Good to see some films about the old (and ongoing) Pagan holidays and celebrations. A feast for the eyes and the heart.
May 26, 2008
great movie. It was funny hearing Meryl Streep speak with an Irish accent... I love the scenes where the sisters and the brother dance like crazy and feel free and are happy... There's mix of sacred and profane-pagan and religious...
April 18, 2008
I may never see this movie again but the memory of it will stay with me always, I think. I thoroughly enjoyed it, much to my surprise!

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 ~
February 26, 2008
I don't like Meryl Streep. I never have. I probably never will. I don't hate her half so much as Katherine Hepburn did, of course, but I'm not sure if anyone does. She still only has two Oscars, Best Supporting for [i]Kramer vs. Kramer[/i], 1979, and Best Actress for [i]Sophie's Choice[/i], 1982. She's got fourteen nominations, the record, but three of them are Best Supporting, so Katherine Hepburn still wins in my book. Still, I like several of her performances, usually when you're not supposed to like her character very much, and this is one of those times.

[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.
August 17, 2007
This movie was kind of depressing, as the ending is not that satisfactory. It was interesting, I loved the Irish culture, but it just leaves you feeling...well, there's no other word for it...Unsatisfied. Maybe it will be better what and if I see it again...maybe
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