It's almost St. Patrick's Day, which can mean parades and soda bread and green beer, or it could mean a little DVD festival of great little movies you've never seen -- or have forgotten about -- starring eight of today's biggest stars who hail from the Emerald Isle. Such as these:
Farrell was just about nobody when he starred in the 1992 flick, a murder mystery set in a WWII German camp for American POWs. It's a little bit cheesy, but in a nicely old-fashioned way, like this might have been made in black-and-white in 1954.
2. Kenneth Branagh: Peter's Friends
This 1992 flick, directed by and starring Branagh -- as well as a slew of British favorites like Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, etc. -- is kind of an Anglo Big Chill, and a highly entertaining one.
Easily among the best work of both of its stars, this revisionist Western is a haunting and spare chase movie across deadly landscapes.
Wim Wenders's 1997 contemplation on our modern surveillance society features Byrne's moody performance as a watcher who's also being watched.
5. Colm Meaney: The Snapper
In this sweet 1993 comedy from director Stephen Frears, Meaney plays a cantankerous dad who learns, to his horror, that his teenage daughter is pregnant. Family chaos ensues.
6. Cillian Murphy: Breakfast on Pluto
Murphy shows one end of his extraordinary range as a happy-go-lucky transvestite in Neil Jordan's delightful 2005 dramedy.
7. Stephen Rea: Citizen X
In this 1995 made-for-HBO movie, Rea portrays a Russian cop in Soviet Russia hunting down a serial killer in a culture that disdains intellectual police work.
MaryAnn Johanson (email me)
reviews, reviews, reviews! at FlickFilosopher.com