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.

 …

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?

St. Patrick’s Day Flix Spotlight: Circle of Friends

Hello readers, are you wearing green today? I’m not the least bit Irish but hey, everyone’s Irish on March 17, right? At least that’s what this Guinness Storehouse sign in Dublin says 🙂

Well, I was going to post a clip of a movie with the word ‘green’ on the title, as there are quite a few: How Green Was My Valley, Green Acres, The Green Mile, Green Card, Fried Green Potatoes, and the one playing in the theater right now, Green Zone. Well, the only one I’ve seen and liked out of these is Stephen King’s prison drama The Green Mile, but given the subject matter, it might be a bit too morose to celebrate this day.

CircleOfFriends_photo
So instead, I picked this one set in Ireland that happens to be one of my favorites: Circle of Friends. I’m a big fan of Minnie Driver, and this is her first lead role in a feature film after numerous TV work in her native England. Set in the 50s, it centers on only child Benny Hogan (Driver) and her childhood friends Eve Malone (Belfast-born Geraldine O’Rawe) and Nan Mahon (Saffron Burrows) as the three begin college life in Dublin. It’s there that she meets the handsome rugby star Jack Foley (Chris O’Donnell) and she falls for him … hard. It’s a touching movie that speaks about friendship, love, family, betrayal, and ultimately forgiveness.

I just saw this again for the second time not that long ago and I just realized Colin Firth plays the cad Simon Westward and another Belfast native Ciaran Hinds as Professor Flynn whom every female student has a crush on.

This fan-made video features the song is You’re the One sung by Shane McGowan and Maire Brennan, which played during the film’s credits:


Alan Cumming
is also pretty memorable (not exactly in a good way) as the creepy slime-ball who has the hots for Benny. The location is definitely a star in its own right here, with the lush Irish hills and the ever-so-charming small Irish towns. Oh and the music definitely puts you in a Gaelic mood.

Dear readers, whatever you’re doing today, may I leave you with this Irish blessing:

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

(courtesy of IrishPath.com)