Battle Royale

Michelle Yeoh, Nicolas Cage and a cute Irish-language dog battle it out in the Greystones Film Club’s autumn line-up.

Given their line-up of new movies, the Greystones Film Club would appear to be in a philosophical mood.

With more than a dash of psychotic thrown in.

Adding to their recently announced Nic Cage Does Nic Cage meta comedy The Unbearable Weight Of Immense Talent on Thursday, September 15th is the confirmation of another of this year’s most acclaimed and mind-bending movies, Everything Everywhere All At Once on Thursday, October 13th.

And just to reassure everyone that the world hasn’t gone completely topsy-turvy, there’s the brand new Irish feelgood comedy Róise & Frank in November.

Just as back in 1999, The Matrix was everything Star Wars fans wished The Phantom Menace might have been, the latest Michelle Yeoh outing Everything Everywhere All At Once (USA/18/139mins) is everything Neo fans wished The Matrix Resurrections had been. This martial arts sci-fi actioner lives up to its absurd title, proving to be just about the most head-spinning, spine-snapping, rib-tickling movie you’re going to see all year.

https://whaletheatre.ie/This is Charlie Kaufman, Hidden Dragon, Kung Fu Hustle via David Lynch, and it might just blow your mind. If you’re able to keep up.

In a role originally slotted for Jackie Chan, the great Ms Yeoh must be Oscar-bound for her portrayal of sad sack laundromat owner Evelyn, too busy worrying about finally getting her tax returns to their dreaded IRS auditor (a comically frumpy Jamie Lee Curtis) to notice that her wimpy husband has been trying to serve her with divorce papers all morning. Throw in an angry teenage daughter – doubling as the malice in this wonderland – who’s trying to introduce her girlfriend to her grumpy, old-fashioned grandfather, and clearly, Evelyn could do with an escape plan.

That it turns up in the form of a multiverse where she must leap in and out of battle as she tries to keep her heart and family together may not have been the kind of escape Evelyn was looking for. Even if she is The Chosen One.

Undoubtedly one of 2022’s finest movies, and one that needs to be seen on the big screen, Everything Everywhere All At Once may be a little too much of a rush to the senses at times, but writer/directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka Daniels) know that humour is the best way to make the madness go down. And having an emotional undertow that pays off with a genuinely lump-in-the-throat finale too.

By contrast, on Thursday, November 10th, the new Irish feature Róise & Frank follows one of the club’s most popular screenings ever, Colm Bairéad’s beautiful An Cailín Ciúin, this wry, crisp and dry comedy centred on a still-mourning widow (Bríd Ní Neachtain) recognising her dearly departed husband in a dog who mysteriously shows up at her door.

With the tagline reading, ‘He said he’d come back. He didn’t say how.’, Rachel Moriarty and Peter Murphy’s short and bittersweet offering has already wowed at this year’s Dublin International Film Festival (where it picked up Best Ensemble) and the Galway Film Fleadh, and scoring the Audience Award at both the Santa Barbara Film Festival and the Sonoma International Film Festival.

And to top it all, Donald Clarke from The Irish Times dubbed it ‘a genuinely delightful film‘. Which is praise indeed. Given that Donald’s a bit of a miserable git.

In short, Róise & Frank (Ireland/PG/84mins) is a film that will get you right in the feels. But only if you’ve ever loved someone. Or owned a dog.

Admission to all monthly Greystones Film Club screenings are €10, your admission ticket coming with a free box of freshly-popped popcorn. And a full bar and waiter service.

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