St Patrick’s Day Special: Five memorable scenes set in beautiful Ireland

HappyStPatricksDayAre you wearing green today? Today we’re all Irish, right? 😉 I celebrated last year’s St Paddy’s Day by paying tribute to some of the best Irish actors working in Hollywood today. Today I thought I’d set my eyes on some gorgeous Irish sceneries in movies, which is always one of the best things about the film itself. Ireland is one of those places I haven’t got the good fortune to visit, hopefully one day in the near future I could spend hours walking in those wonderfully lush hills. For now I guess I’d just admire the scenery on screen.

CircleOfFriends

I saw this years ago and I’ve always thought of it fondly. Set in 1950s Ireland, Minnie Driver starred in this coming of age story on an Irish university student, Benny Hogan and her circle of friends, Nan and Eve. Chris O’Donnell is quite dreamy as the handsome lad Benny’s in love with. The scene of their first kiss is wonderfully moving and sweet, you can’t help but root for the two to be together. I can’t find the exact scene but it’s in this fan-made vid below. The scenery of Ireland countryside is absolutely gorgeous, the film is set on location in County Kilkenny, Ireland.

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PSILoveYou

When I visit Ireland one day, I just might have to go on a P.S. I Love You tour. Yep it does exist! Wicklow National Park is soooo gorgeous, I LOVE the scene when Gerry & Holly first met as she was trying to get the the park she’s already on, ahah. The scenery is so picturesque it’d distract you from Gerry Butler‘s hilarious Irish accent, ha!


LeapYearI have to admit that the Irish scenery – and the beauty that is Matthew Goode – is what kept me from turning off this mawkish drivel.

Goode_LeapYearThe premise alone should put off anyone, even the most loyal rom-rom fans, I mean a girl who believes it’s tradition to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day?? [facepalm] And of course she’s gonna end up with the gorgeous Irish dreamboat 😉 But ok, let’s focus on the positive, one of which is the scenery really that makes the movie so worth watching, especially the scene at Ballycarbery Castle. 

Ondine

Ok so I’ve actually never finished watching this one, though it’s been on my Netflix queue for ages. It sounds like another one of those films to see just for the scenery and atmospheric, moody harbor in County Cork. Colin Farrell is a convincing romantic hero and here he plays an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his daughter believes to be some mythical creature. The film is like a love letter to his homeland from Irish director Neil Jordan.

VeronicaGuerin

This film takes place mostly in Dublin and we get to see the less glamorous side of the Irish capital. In fact, the gritty cinematography shows the dingy streets and slums of the city as the late Irish reporter Veronica Guerin took on a dangerous cause of exposing Dublin’s powerful crime barons and drug lords in the mid 90s. It’s one of Joel Schumacher‘s better works, featuring the great Cate Blanchett in yet another chameleonic role. Being shot on location definitely adds much realism to the gripping and tragic story.


The Secret of the Kells

Even in animated form, Ireland is absolutely breathtaking to look at. This mythical, ethereal film would be a great one to watch on St. Paddy’s Day, given that the story has such deep Irish roots. Per Wiki, the story is based on the story of the origin of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament located in Dublin, Ireland. It also draws upon Celtic mythology. Apparently the filmmaker Tomm Moore and the artists who drew the film were inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s works, so they decided to do something similar to Studio Ghibli’s films but with Irish art. There are too many great scenes to mention, basically the entire film is absolutely gorgeous.

SecretOfKells4 SecretOfKells3 SecretOfKells2 SecretOfKells1


Happy St Patrick’s Day everyone! So what’s your favorite film(s) set in Ireland?

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42 thoughts on “St Patrick’s Day Special: Five memorable scenes set in beautiful Ireland

  1. You know I usually don’t pay attention to St. Patty’s Day ever since I slowed down my drinking, when I was younger I always looked forward to this day because my friends and I would go out and get drunk. I’m way too old to do that now, lol.

    As for my favorite sceneries from film set in Ireland? I can’t really name one, I was going to say BRAVEHEART but that was set in Scotland. I do love the band Cranberries and would love to see Ireland someday.

    1. Well I don’t drink at all so that part doesn’t mean anything to me 🙂 I’d love to visit Ireland one day too, too many places to visit, too little time!

          1. I’ll hold you to it man! I soooo want to visit Edinburgh, in fact I did some research on it a while back as I was doing a story set in that city 😉

  2. Brittani

    There’s a lot of films that have great/beautiful scenes set in Ireland. Breakfast on Pluto, The Crying Game, Disco Pigs, The Guard, Calvary, Intermission. It’s hard to choose. Great list!

  3. You must finish Ondine! That’s one of my wife’s favorite films. Such a beautiful story, and so rich in it’s cinematography. Colin also gives one of his finest performances!

    Love that you mention Circle of Friends too. Such a great little movie that so few people actually talk about.

    1. Y’know, I might finish it this week if time permits! Glad to hear you love it, and Circle of Friends is massively underrated, but that might be one of my fave Irish-themed movies!

  4. Paul S

    Sadly I’ve not seen any of your selections Ruth. I usually watch The Quiet Man with my old man on St Patrick’s Day. It’s not one of my favourites but he has fond memories of it.

    1. Hello Paul! Are you referring to the one w/ John Wayne? I’m afraid I haven’t seen that.

      Btw, I just rewatched Stardust this weekend and was struck again by Michelle Pfeiffer’s beauty. I enjoyed that movie more than the first time around, too!

      1. Paul S

        Yeah it stars John Wayne and a stunningly red-headed Maureen O’Hara.

        I’m glad you enjoyed Stardust, although I’m starting to worry that La Pfeiffer may have retired. What a travesty if the last film of Michelle’s career turns out to be The Family.

        1. Oh no! I hope that ain’t so, seriously she is still so beautiful and has so much to offer. She could do supporting roles, like Rene Russo did brilliantly in Nightcrawler last year. I’d think there are still tons of stuff she can do.

  5. Cool post. I haven’t seen a couple of these, but I imagine it’s difficult to go wrong filming anywhere in Ireland from what I’ve seen of it. I’ve got to throw in a couple of others, CALVARY and THE GUARD (same writer-director, John Michael McDonagh) and SONG OF THE SEA (animation from the same studio and director of SECRET OF KELLS).

    1. I can’t believe I left out The Guard, I love that movie! Haven’t seen Calvary yet, but that’s on my list. Oh yeah, I posted the trailer for Song of the Sea, it’s such a gorgeous looking movie, no wonder it’s from the same filmmaker as Secret of Kells!

  6. I’ve seen a few of these…. Leap Year was terrible and Matthew Goode dissed the film as well.

    I too would root for The Calvary which is a great Irish film.

    1. Hi Natalie! I hear ya about Leap Year, though you haven’t got around to seeing Matthew Goode yet who’s really the best thing aside from the Irish scenery. Secret of the Kells is an enchanting gem, definitely worth your time!

  7. Abbi

    I am going to second Disco Pigs and also go slightly off kilter and mention Game of Thrones. It’s not set in Ireland but Ireland is used for most of the beautiful scenery… and for Vikings as well.

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  9. Nice picks! I need to see The Secret of Kells, Leap Year, and Circle of Friends, but it’s great seeing Ondine and Veronica Guerin make the list. Once, The Quiet Man, Odd Man Out, The Crying Game, and Calvary are a few films set in Ireland that I love.

    1. Hello Josh! Oh it’ll be a treat to see Secret of Kells & Circle of Friends, I wouldn’t really recommend Leap Year unless you’re a die hard fan of the two leads, but the Irish scenery IS gorgeous. Man, I haven’t seen any of the fives you mentioned, have to rectify that soon.

  10. Great stuff as usual Ruth. I’ve actually not seen any of these. Have you seen ’71 yet? Its one of the most authentic depiction of the conflict in Northern Ireland and its extremely tense. Made me feel homesick!

    1. No I haven’t yet but I REALLY want to see it! I love Sam Reid who has a supporting role there. I read a couple of reviews that said it looked gritty and realistic, hope it’s not overly violent for my feeble nerves.

  11. Oh yeah the Irish scenery and Goode made Leap Year worth seeing 🙂 So glad you featured Veronica Guerin, it’s excellent and so underrated

    1. Hi Sati! I think if it weren’t for Goode, I might’ve turned off the movie. But he was so charming in it that made me hate Amy Adams’ character even more! Veronica Guerin is so heartbreaking. It’s so well-made and people forgot that Joel Schumacher can actually make a decent flick.

  12. So much luscious green!! lol I’ve not actually seen any of those but I’d say the one film that I’m most interested in seeing is The Secret of Kells… I remember seeing a trailer for it. Looks really unique and stunning… I’m just as keen to see Song of the Sea after seeing the trailer you posted! Great review!

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