Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the movies this weekend

By Eleanor Ringel Cater


I guess everyone can be expected to be Blarney-stoned on March 17, aka
St. Patrick’s Day.

But in case you’re out partying too hard to go green on screen, here are some Ireland-themed movies to take you through the weekend.

INTO THE WEST: A magical film that ties the realities of tinker-poor Ireland with the tale of the kelpie, a horse that carries its riders into the sea. Or is it just an old legend? Gabriel Byrne and Elen Barkin, who were married at the time, co-star.

THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH: John Sayles brings his all-American humanity to the west coast of Ireland where a small strip of land known as Roan Inish has been abandoned for generations. 10-year-old Fiona, whose family once lived there, wants to know why. More Irish mysticism: ancient lore has it that one of her ancestors was once married to a selkie (that’s a seal who can shed its skin and become a woman not to be confused with the kelpie…).

THE COMMITMENTS: Part of Roddy Doyle’s “Barrytown” trilogy (because they are set in the fictional Barrytown), this is a splendid picture about an Irish band named — what else— The Commitments, who are as determined as they are scruffy. The other two movies, also worth your time, are “The Snapper,” Irish slang for baby, and “The Van,” about two friends opening what we call a food truck over here.

Eleanor Ringel, Movie Critic, was the film critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for almost 30 years. She was nominated multiple times for a Pulitzer Prize. She won the Best of Cox Critic, IMAGE Film & Video and Women In Film awards. An Atlanta native, she graduated from Westminster and Brown University. She was the critic on WXIA’s Noonday, a member of Entertainment Weekly's Critics Grid and wrote TV Guide’s movie/DVD. She is member of the National Society of Film Critics and currently talks about movies on WMLB and writes the Time Out column for the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

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