Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Eclipse 2009 (no vampires!)



Watched THE ECLIPSE last night with Ciaran Hinds, I do not understand why he does not get to do more of these nice, sympathetic leading man roles. After all he is the best Mr. Rochester ever in my opinion. But I digress. Last night being Saturday, I of course wanted to watch something scary. My Netflix queue had this film on it which I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of putting on the queue. Hinds plays Michael Farr, a recent widower who lives in the seaside Irish city of Cobh. Farr is not only dealing with the loss of his wife, but also with being a single father, the impending death of his father-in-law, Malachy, and the ghost he thinks he may have just seen wander through his house. Intertwined with all of this is Farr's interaction with two authors he meets while working at the Cobh Literary Festival, Nicholas Holden and Lena Morrelle. Holden is a drunk and a jerk who thinks he and Lena are meant to be together even though he is married. Holden is played by Aidan Quinn who manages to give this louse of a character some sympathy. Lena, played by Iben Hjejle, is fond of Holden but does not want to get involved. She also happens to write books about ghosts and thereby piques Farr's interest who really needs someone to talk to about the ghost in his house.

This film scared me throughout, not so much because of what was happening onscreen, although there were a few "jump" moments (I believe at one of them I let out a very loud profanity), but because of what my brain kept thinking was going to happen. It turns out that source material, a story by playwright Billy Roche, has no supernatural elements at all, the ghosty bits were all added by Roche and director Conor McPherson while they were writing the screenplay. The film is a bit unsteady at times weaving the ghost story with the original story but the fine acting and the beautiful cinematography manage to keep it all together. Plus I always enjoy a film that scares me so I will endorse this one with a thumbs up. Oh and I'll be packing my bags and moving to Ireland tomorrow.

The beautiful city of Cobh