Cinema: Passion on a Darkling Plain

CAL Directed by Pat O'Connor; Screenplay by Bernard Mac Laverty

All twinkly and crinkly, spouting sentimental songs and blarney-encrusted stories, the face of a certain kind of jolly theatrical performer used to be referred to as "the map of Ireland." For a revised and updated emotional cartography, audiences are advised to stare long and hard into the physiognomy of John Lynch. A young actor of Roman Catholic stock who grew up in Ulster, he plays the title role in Cal, a brooding, subtle film that dares to make the only valid response to the endless violence of life in Northern Ireland today:...

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