'The Banshee of Inisherin' and 9 Other Great Irish Films Nominated for Oscars
These films are among the best on the Emerald Isle - and the Academy agrees.
Ireland received a record number of country nominations at the 2023 Academy Awards, with 14 across multiple categories. However, 2023 isn't the only year Irish films will be nominated and history will be made.
Irish cinema has long been known for its nationalism and sense of community through the lens of many experienced filmmakers, including Jim Sheridan, Martin MacDonald, and Kenneth Braham. In addition to this year's Best Picture nominee, The Banshee of Inishering, there are more films from Ireland that have been nominated for Academy Awards before then.
1 'The Banshees of Inisherin' (2022)
Inisherin's Banshees centers on two old friends, Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) and Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell), who reach a breaking point when Colm suddenly leaves their friendship because he thinks Pádraic It's too boring for him, and the results are disturbing for both.
The Banshees Of Inisherin is a sombre, melancholy, and sometimes hilarious story with dark undercurrents, offering the viewer multiple depths of analysis. In total, the film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor, as well as two Gleeson and Eternals' Barry Keoghan won Best Supporting Actor.
2 'In the Name of the Father' (1993)
"In the Name of the Father" is based on the true story of the Guildford Four who were wrongly convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombing that killed four off-duty British soldiers and a civilian. Gerry Conlon's 1990 memoir Proved Innocent: The story of Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four was the inspiration for the screenplay.
Although controversial, the film about the injustice experienced by the Guilford four is moving and well acted. As a result, the film has a total of seven Oscar nominations, one for Best Picture and another for Best Director for the incredible Jim Sheridan.
3 'My Left Foot' (1989)
Based on Christy Brown's 1954 memoir of the same name, My Left Foot tells the story of Christy Brown (played by Daniel Day-Lewis), a patient born with cerebral palsy who was only able to move her left foot. Brown grew up in a working-class family and became a writer and artist.
Day-Lewis' performance was stunning, earning him an Academy Award for Best Actor. Along with Day-Lewis, director Jim Sheridan was also nominated for Best Director and Best Picture For the movie. My Left Foot is considered one of the best depictions of living with a disability in film, touching the lives of many.
4 'Brooklyn' (2015)
Based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Colm Tóibín, Brooklyn revolves around Irish immigrant Alice Lacy (Saoirse Ronan), who moves to Brooklyn in the early 1950s in search of work. However, after settling down in Brooklyn, Alice is eventually lured back to her hometown of Enniscorthy, where she must decide where she wants to build her future.
The viewer is transported to a different time and place, within which the emotional context of the Irish immigrants is expertly recreated. Moreover, due to Ronan's delicate conveyance of Alice's thoughts and feelings, the audience is completely involved in Alice's struggle and confusion. As a result, Ronan was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, in addition to being nominated twice, including Best Film of the Year and Best Adapted Screenplay for Nick Hornby.
5 'Angela's Ashes' (1999)
Based on Frank McCourt's memoir of the same name, Angela's Ashes follows young Frankie (Joe Breen) and his family as they struggle to escape a life of squalor. Infiltrate the pre-war Limerick slums.
The family's struggles are shown depressingly through the eyes of the young protagonist, who occasionally finds joy in the dirtiest crevices of a depressing street. As beautifully crafted and engrossing as this film is, it received only one Oscar nomination for Best Music, that of John Williams' original score.
6 'Once' (2007)
Once is an Irish romantic musical drama film about a vacuum repairman, played by Glen Hansard, a street musician hoping to be discovered. One day, he is approached by a Czech immigrant (Markata Ilglova) who makes a living selling flowers and reveals that she, too, is a budding musician. The two decided to work together, and the song they created told the story of their developing romance.
This painting beautifully captures the musical and personal harmony of two individuals, their extraordinary synergy and innate creativity. It's also a heartfelt ode to music, friendship and the rewards of genuine labor. Since the soundtrack is the film's highlight, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Film Score, Original Song for the song "Falling Slowly."
7 'Michael Collins' (1996)
Michael Collins follows the titular character, playing Created by Irish politician and freedom fighter Liam Neeson, who played a key role in Ireland's independence movement against Britain in the early 20th century.
While the film does alter some historical facts, most modifications and compressions do work. Liam Neeson's impassioned performance as Collins is Oscar-worthy, even though he wasn't nominated for his performance. Instead, however, the film still received two nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.
8 Belfast (2021)
Belfast is a coming-of-age drama, described by director Kenneth Branagh as "most personal", about a young boy named Buddy (Jude Hill) The story of a boy growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, begins Troublesome Things in 1969.
Belfast is a sympathetic tribute to childhood, with an impassioned performance by its great ensemble cast. This is a most charming and poignant film. At the 94th Academy Awards, Belfast was nominated in seven categories including Best Picture and won Best Original Screenplay for Branagh.
9 'Song of the Sea' (2014)
Song of the Sea is an animated fantasy film released as part of Tom Moore's "Irish Folklore Trilogy", following Tom Moore's 2009 predecessor The Secret of Kells, before Wolfwalker in 2020 . this movie tells the story of 10-year-old Irish kid Ben (David Rolle) who learns that his mute sister Saoirse - whom he blames for his mother's apparent death - is a seal whose mission is to Rescue the elven creature from the Celtic goddess Macha.
This film, based on Irish folklore and filled with mythological imagery, speaks directly to loss and grief. Song of the Sea was only nominated in the Best Animated Feature Film category of the year, despite its stunning visuals and strong voice cast.
10 'Philomena' (2013)
According to journalist Martin Sixsmith's 2009 book Philomena Lee's Missing Child and Philomena Lee's 50-Year Search for Her Son A true account of the brigade, Philomena tells how Steve Coogan's Sixsmith assisted Phildi Dench in her quest to find her son.
Unexpectedly harrowing at times, the film avoids becoming an over-the-top melodrama by carefully balancing Martin's skepticism with Filomena's trust in the character. Additionally, Judi Dench's performance was so moving and riveting that it earned her an Oscar nomination, along with three other nominations, including Film of the Year, Best Achievement in a Film Score, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay.