St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! Indeed, there’s a horrible pandemic outside, but we at IndieGala would love to wish a happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone that celebrates it. Especially our lovely audience from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and Canada. I hope that the Irish patron saint brings you lots of health and prosperity this year. And we do hope you celebrate it with a nice pint of Guinness (albeit responsibly). Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!
St. Patrick’s Day: The Past Meets The Future
First things first. Before I could talk about the present, I must look back at the past of this holiday. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century. Furthermore, the day commemorates Saint Patrick. It also celebrates the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Not to mention, historically the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day. And for one day in March, the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption began.
But today, although with slight changes, the tradition of alcohol consumption remains the same. Also, everyone is just has to wear green, but in recent times there has been a lot of criticism too. And the criticism is at the commercialization of the holiday too. And on the negative stereotypical representation of Irish people, but let’s not go there. Let’s focus on the good. And let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.
Good Movie Picks For St. Patrick’s Day
Since there are plenty of quarantines and pandemic-induced lock-downs, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at home is the safe bet even in 2021. We’d normally encourage you to go out and celebrate the holiday in your nearest pub or restaurant. But we prepared some St. Patrick’s Day home entertainment instead. Because keeping a social distance is still mandatory, thanks to COVID-19. First and foremost, our King of booze- Drinking game is available for purchase here at IndieGala. It’s a perfect pairing for your at-home celebrating kit. And to top it off…we have a fine selection of flicks that is worth checking out. Each and every one of these movies are Irish, are set in Ireland, or have Irish themes throughout. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and for celebrating all things Irish. Don’t you think?
So, with that in mind… Let’s begin, shall we?
Let’s start this list with a lighter tone. And by lighter tone, I mean a musical. The Commitments is the first on this list and I couldn’t be happier. This is not only one of my favorites 90’s movies. But it’s one of my favorite movies period. And the movie is about Jimmy Rabbitte (played by Robert Arkins). And the rise and fall of his band. He’s an unemployed Dublin boy and a great music fan. So, naturally, he’ll put together a soul band called The Commitment. However, the band members will not come out of the Dublin elite. Moreover, the band is composed entirely of working-class people, but that’s where the fun is actually. In the down-to-earth nature of the band. “The Worlds Hardest Working Band” that is.
The Commitments has great performances, and a fantastic script filled with wit and humor. Rightfully so, this is one of the cult classics of Irish cinema, but yeah… I think it qualifies as a St. Patrick’s Day movie pick. What do you think?
Fun Fact: Johnny Murphy (Joey The Lips) and Bronagh Gallagher (Bernie) were the only ones in the group who had no music experience before making the film.
In The Name Of The Father
From a lighthearted musical/comedy to one of the most intense dramas ever. And on top of that a biopic about a father and son’s struggle to prove their innocence. However, In The Name Of The Father is so much more than that. It’s based on the real story about Guildford Four. Four people who were falsely convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombings and their path to clear their names. Daniel Day-Lewis and the late Pete Postlethwaite star as Gerry and Patrick “Giuseppe” Conlon. While Emma Thompson shines in the role of Gareth Peirce. In The Name Of The Father is probably one of the best works in Jim Sheridan’s career. But it’s also one of the best movies that have ever been made. I highly recommend this one.
Fun Fact: In preparation for his role, Daniel Day-Lewis lost thirty pounds and spent nights in the jail cell on the set as crew members threw water and verbal abuse at him.
The Crying Game
The Crying Game is one of my top 3 Neil Jordan movies. Along with Breakfast on Pluto and Mona Lisa. But The Crying Game also has one of the finest Stephen Rea performances to date. Seriously, he’s incredible here, but this is by no means an easy film. It has kidnapping, a depiction of the IRA troubles, and an unlikely love triangle. The Crying Game is well written and incredibly acted movie. Not to mention it has lots of humanity in it. Oh, and an incredible cast in the middle of it that elevates the overall quality of the movie. Not to mention, a horrible attempt of an Irish accent by Forest Whitaker. But I can’t recommend The Crying Game enough.
Fun Fact: Jaye Davidson met the casting agents while in a bar.
Once is truly a beautiful movie. A movie that tells a wonderful story of love and music in a span of only one week. It also takes place in Dublin, and in the center of the story are Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Two young souls trying to connect through their mutual love of music. And yes, I’m perfectly aware that I mentioned Glen Hansard before in the Commitments section of this list. But we’re talking about an extremely talented actor and musician, so I feel that it bears repeating. This is also one of my favorite movies of all time, and I just have to include it. It’s a lovely and emotional piece of film history, and you’ll be missing out if you don’t give it a shot.
Fun fact: Steven Spielberg was a big fan of the film. He said, “A little movie called Once (2007) gave me enough inspiration to last the rest of the year”.
It’s the most recent movie on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great. Brooklyn is a period piece movie about one immigrant’s struggles to adapt and assimilate in the USA. Saorise Ronan is fantastic in the role of the homesick Eilis Lacey. But this is a movie that’s filled to the brim with fantastic actors. And Irish actors as well. Domhnall Gleeson, Bríd Brennan, Fiona Glascott and Jane Brennan are also part of the cast. This is a beautiful movie and of course, it deserves to be on this list. But if you need only one reason to watch it, then it’s the magnificent Saorise Ronan. She’s outstanding in Brooklyn and just proves that she’s one of the best actresses of her generation.
Fun fact: Saoirse Ronan was getting a manicure in Dublin, Ireland when she found out about her Golden Globe nomination. For her performance in this movie of course. In her rush of excitement, she bought champagne for everyone in the salon.
What Are Your Plans For St. Patrick’s Day?
Or perhaps your movie picks? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to know all about them.