Irish Movies, Irish Stars and Irish Awards–The Irish Oscars!

Blair StoverIt’s March, which means Academy Awards, but today, why not take a completely different approach and give a nod to another great March event—St. Patrick’s Day—and talk about movies with great Irish characters? Combining the idea of the Oscars with Irish film, here is a list of my personal favorite movies with Irish themes or Irish actors and why I like them.

Best “Serious” Irish Movie: Dancing at Lughnasa

To start with, it features Meryl Streep, but that is not really the best thing about this movie. Dancing at Lughnasa was a play before it was a movie and both do a wonderful job of portraying a segment of the human experience we might never think about. Five unmarried Irish sisters deal with singleness, illegitimacy, raising a child and the start of World War II in this beautiful film that is not only “arty” but also has a good story line. Michael Gambon, Sophie Thompson and an all-star cast head up this scintillating film.

Best “Action” Irish Movie: The Boondock Saints

If you don’t like bad language and blood, this movie is not for you. On the other hand, if you love action, you cannot miss it! The Boondock Saints is a cool movie because it was never really supposed to happen. The film was slated for the dustbin when it was rescued and turned into a direct-to-video cult phenomenon. Starring Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus and the incomparable Willem Dafoe, the movie generated a great deal of controversy and stands out as unique in the annals of “good guy vs. bad guy” films.

Best “Kids” Irish Movie: The Secret of Kells

Kids and adults will enjoy the breathtaking animation as well as learn something about the history of Ireland. This is the story of the famed Book of Kells, the Irish illuminated manuscript that highlights the beauty of ancient monastic art. Starring the voice talents of Evan McGuire and Christen Mooney, this movie is one you can enjoy with the entire family.

Best Irish Actor: Liam Neeson

Since his roles as the protagonist in Ethan Frome and as Oskar Schindler in Schindler’s List, we all knew Liam Neeson was something special. His latest films have only served to support that belief. He is probably one of the most versatile actors on the screen today and consistently shows his talents by taking on “stretch” roles, although he can still play a good tough guy when he wants to!

Best Irish Actress: Maureen O’Hara

Sure, we are going back a few years, but Maureen O’Hara, the beautiful redhead from Miracle on 34th Street and The Quiet Man opposite John Wayne, deserves the crown for most entrancing Irish actress. Maureen epitomized the Hollywood starlet but managed to get her teeth into some really good roles, as well!

That is my take on the Irish Oscars—Erin go braugh!

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