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Monday, September 20, 2010

Two thumbs up for White Irish Drinkers

With: Nick Thurston, Geoff Wigdor, Karen Allen, Stephen Lang, Peter Riegert, Leslie Murphy, Zachary Booth, Ken Jennings.

I can't think of a better way to end TIFF 2010 than to watch a film that had the entire audience in tears.

Writer/director John Gray's moving film, White Irish Drinkers, is a story about two brothers living in a working class Brooklyn home, with an abusive father and a well-meaning mother. Danny (Geoff Wigdor) plays a violent young man who makes a living stealing. He's the target of abuse in the household, as his younger brother, Brian (Nick Thurston) is an artist. Yes, a gifted artist living amongst anguish, violence, and a neighbourhood that evokes feelings of hopelessness. And because he is so different from people around him, he just may have a chance to get out and live a better life.

White Irish Drinkers has a stellar cast, as Stephen Lang delivers a compelling performance as a deeply troubled alcoholic who has a hard time connecting with his family...and resorts to insulting and beating his eldest son. Karen Allen is the classic mother who tries to keep the peace in the household but fails every time.

Nick Thurston is mesmerizing. His eyes are quite haunting and hard to turn away from. He plays his part beautifully, a delicate balance between a strong artistic spirit and a vulnerable heart.

At the end of the screening, John Gray held an intimate Q and A, where I learned that the film was shot in 17 days, and like most brilliant films, had a low budget. While he and his team mostly worked in television, they wanted to do something "just for them" which turned out to be a film that most people in the audience echoed "this really brought back memories of my childhood."

White Irish Drinkers has yet to secure a distribution deal, which I don't think they will have much trouble getting. A riveting story with powerful performances.

2 comments:

Margino said...

Well said, London!

I was lucky enough to have had a chance to see this movie back in April at a private screening in LA. FABULOUS! I knew it was low-budget and all, and my expectations were set with this knowledge. The movie had me in tears, and I was blown away with both the production quality and, especially the acting of the new comers. Nick Thurston (those eyes!) carried the show, and I'll bet we see lots more of him in the future. Geoffrey Wigdor and Leslie Murphy both delivered strong performances, as well. And, of course, Karen Allen and Stephen Lang did stellar work. Kudos to ALL the cast ... and kudos to John Gray!

London said...

Thanks, Margino!

I have no doubt that this film will enhance the careers of the young Wigdor, Thurston, and Murphy. I'm so impressed by the script, performances, and direction of the entire project.

Would love to check out your blog, but am not able to?

Thanks again for your comment!