THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (2022) (PFF31)
Featuring the best one-two punch of performances out of any film this year and delivering a mesmerizing tale of broken friendship, The Banshees of Inisherin is perhaps Martin McDonagh’s finest work.
Pádraic (Colin Farrell) learns that his lifelong friend Colm (Brendan Gleeson) doesn’t want to be friends with him anymore, leading to Pádraic making every attempt at overcoming the impasse. This may be Farrell’s best performance to date, one filled with anguish, pain, confusion, and determination. He and Gleeson play off of one another with expert ease, both deepening the film’s intrigue with every line spoken. It’s all set upon a stunning Irish island landscape whose calm and serene setting further cements the growing isolation felt by Pádraic.
McDonagh uses a simple premise to pick apart characteristics of the men that are innate in all of us. Farrell immediately gains your sympathy, but Gleeson later demands and acquires your understanding. It’s simply riveting. Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan are both unwavering in their supporting roles, the former strong in every scene as a rock for Pádraic while the latter is delightfully unhinged and tragically innocent. Banshees is a character study, at the end of the day, and one of the best films )if not the best) of the year.
The Banshees of Inisherin is now playing in limited theaters.