Terry McMahon has brought Irish audiences a stunning piece of work that continues to push the boundaries for Irish cinema. The piece comes after a hugely successful 2014 for Irish film with the likes of John Michael McDonagh’s dark comedy, Calvary, and Lenny Abrahamson’s quirky hit, Frank. The pressure is on this year for films that live up to such predecessors.
Patrick’s Day certainly sets the tone for Irish film in 2015 and grabs your attention from the first scene. Irish actor Moe Dunford gives a stunning and heartbreaking performance as schizophrenic 26-year-old Patrick Fitzgerald. Patrick’s world takes on new meaning when he meets a depressed air hostess Karen Prescott (Catherine Walker), but his mother Kerry Fox refuses to loosen the tight grip she has on her adult son.
Following the development of Patrick and his first real experience of love, sex and independence, his controlling and protective mother does everything in her power to break up the union, with the help of a jaded garda, John Freeman (Philip Jackson). Dunford’s portrayal of a naïve and troubled young man living in a mental institution is truly breathtaking and devastating. The supporting cast adds to the rawness of the film.
The striking cinematography by Michael Lavelle captures the essence of the story and brings it to life. Patrick’s journey is one that will make you laugh, cry and inspire you. Patrick’s Day brings mental health issues to the forefront and does so in a respectful, realistic and highly emotive manner. The message of this film certainly comes to life.
It is safe to say the bar has been raised for 2015 Irish film and I urge you all to see this spectacular film this year.