Billy works as a repairman for the local phone company, and when he isn't shunting around town in his van, he's downing pints at the local pub, often alone, sometimes in the company of one of his drinking buddies, all single or divorced. Billy says cordial things to his wife, a word of flattery about her cooking or her new hairdo, but it's dawning on him, through the veil of his own denial, that he's a deeply unhappy man. Breda's in denial too, afraid to confront Billy about the widening rift between them, and the consequences of letting dark truths out in the open. Over bottles of wine, she confides her disappointments and loneliness to her best friend, Eilish (Lesley Conroy), and entertains fantasies, sexual and otherwise, that offer her escape.
Continue reading: Eden Review
There aren't any particular surprises in The Magdalene Sisters once the three heroines are locked away. Most sequences follow the same pattern, where the lank-haired, poorly fed, and half-clothed girls aspire for freedom, love, or fair treatment and are met with beatings and brutality. Lest there be any doubt of Sister Bridget's wicked witch nastiness, she's often seen counting her money and turning a blind eye to the random injustices within her makeshift girl's prison. Often compared with Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched, a more careful viewing of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest will reveal subtleties to the character that don't exist in the one-note tyrant, Sister Bridget.
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While both films star single girls with a fondness for fantasy life, Eileen Walsh's Janice isn't half as charming as Audrey Tautou's French pixie. How so? While Amelie spends her days in bistros and on amazing adventures in her neighborhood, Janice works as a relatively incompetent temp in Scotland. Janice's fantasies are drawn from her attempts to entertain her mother, who went crazy when Janice's father died during mom's childbirth. (Har har!) While Amelie takes great pains to appear stylish (oh, that hair!), Janice is a wallflower, dressed in hand-me-downs, with bug eyes and buckteeth, a la Toni Collette in Muriel's Wedding, a film which Janice Beard offers a far stronger resemblance to than Amelie.
Continue reading: Janice Beard: 45 Words Per Minute Review