Starring: Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson (his first film), Forest Whitaker, Miranda Richardson, Adrian Dunbar, Jim Broadbent
Director: Neil Jordan
Summary: An IRA terrorist befriends a British soldier he kidnapped and becomes drawn into the soldier’s world
Other Nominations: Director, Actor (Rea), Supporting Actor (Davidson), Original Screenplay*, Film Editing
This movie is pretty much solely known these days for its big plot twist about halfway through, and to me that’s a shame because it’s a genuinely good movie. The first act which is mostly Rea and Whitaker talking with each other in a room where Whitaker is tied up, but their banter is surprisingly enjoyable to listen to and it all sets up the second part of the film where Rea meets Whitaker’s girlfriend. Speaking of Rea, he’s great here-while he looks half-asleep for most of the movie, his dry style somehow works really well for the character, a good man who is not cut out to be a terrorist even if he believes in the cause.
I thought that it treated the revelation and aftermath with a remarkable amount of taste and respect of everyone involved, especially given the time period when the movie was made. It actually goes on to explore the feelings of both parties in a way I haven’t seen another movie try to do since. Davidson’s role was extremely difficult to cast but Davidson does give a really solid performance, especially considering this was Davidson’s first acting role of any kind which is kind of unbelievable to me. The chemistry and camaraderie between Rea and Davidson is great to see-for a movie that was made on a shoestring budget with few sets and is mostly just dialogue between characters, the three major characters, the dynamics between them and the performances of them make for a very good movie.