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INTERMISSION

SYNOPSIS:
When the insecure John (Cillian Murphy) makes a bungle of a test of their relationship by breaking up with Deirdre (Kelly Macdonald), he finds himself adrift in more ways than one - and angry when Deirdre starts an affair with Sam (Michael McElhatton) the married bank manager. John, the sacked bus driver Mick (Brian F O'Byrne) and John's friend and supermarket co-worker Oscar (David Wilmot) are all dragged into a half witted plot by petty crim Lehiff (Colin Farrell) to kidnap Deidre and make Sam bring them the cash from the bank. Meanwhile, Deirdre's unglam sister Sally (Shirley Henderson) simmers with resentment and Sam's abandoned wife Noeleen (Deirdre O'Kane) finds herself a toy boy. But then Jerry, (Colm Meaney) the detective on a crusade against crime, has Lehiff in his sights, and goes after him while being filmed for a documentary by a young tv producer. Their explosive confrontation brings all the parties to their senses. Almost ....

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Attempting the Altmanesque, writer Mark O'Rowe and director John Crowley come tantalisingly close to weaving a rich tapestry of human flaws with this multi-stranded story. They succeed in creating a context for the various plot lines, and context for all the characters. They are less successful in binding the film into a cohesive whole; it remains a patchwork, whose impact is dissipated for the most part.

Yet there are some excellent moments and riveting performances. The ever-engaging Shirley Henderson does her minimalist best to create a forlorn character who ends up giving us a lift as she undertakes a make-over in every sense, and Kelly Macdonald shines as the broken hearted jilted lover who shakes some sense into John.

David Wilmot gets to play a hilariously active love scene, and Colm Meaney makes a good fist of an unpredictable, nay, haywire detective. Cillian Murphy's John, at the centre of the story strands, has the thankless task of playing a bland character bordering on unsympathetic.

The ends are tidied up rather perfunctorily to deliver an ending that doesn't quite satisfy, but the film leaves us with a sense of having spent some time with a bunch of Irish lads and lasses in the midst of a typically dysfunctional week or two.

I would have wished for less hand-held camerawork, which increasingly looks like a substitute for inventive use of camera and editing for the end result of pace-and-mood. But everybody's doing it these days. It's called a tripod, fellas.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

TRAILER

INTERMISSION (MA)
(Ireland)

CAST: Cillian Murphy, Kelly Macdonald, Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney, David Wilmot, Bryan F O'Byrne, Shirley Henderson, Michael McElhatton, Deidre O'Kane, Ger Ryan, Tom O'Sullivan, Owen Roe, Taylor Molloy

PRODUCER: Neil Jordan, Stephen Wooley, Alan Moloney

DIRECTOR: John Crowley

SCRIPT: Mark O'Rowe

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ryszard Lenczewski PSC

EDITOR: Lucia Zucchetti

MUSIC: Not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tom Conroy

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 3, 2004







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