Country: UK / others
Movie Review: As an admirer of Ken Loach’s past works, I must say that “Jimmy’s Hall” doesn’t totally let us down but also doesn’t have the importance and beauty of some of his realistic works from the past. The film tells the true story of Jimmy Gralton, Irish communist and political activist in the 30’s, returned to his rural hometown after ten years in New York. Jimmy (Barry Ward) left due to political divergences, but this time he says he just wants quietness and to help his mom in the family farm. With the support of Oonagh (Simone Kirby), a former lover who still has feelings for him, and the aid of his old chaps and some new young followers, he decides to reopen ‘the Hall’, a place where people could talk freely, learn music and boxing, and especially dance. The town’s priest, Father Sheridan (Jim Norton), who will be joined by other conservative fanatics, saw this act as a sacrilege. Sooner than expected, church, politicians and army will start to stalk Jimmy and his friends, resolute fighters of a different battle, this time not against the English or their supporters, but against the overbearing, strict hands of an old-fashioned church. “Jimmy’s Hall” doesn’t have the thrilling intensity of Loach’s awarded Irish classic, “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”, and its words are not so inflamed that touch our souls, but on the other hand, it provides us with pertinent questions, allying festivity ambiances to the complex worlds of religion and politics. The performances were just regular, yet a word for the appealing cinematography of Robbie Ryan, who already had worked with this director in “The Angel’s Share” and in two modern indie gifts by Andrea Arnold, “Fish Tank” and “Wuthering Heights”.