Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Author(s): Adam
Location: TX

"The Beauty Queen of Leenane"

Written & Directed by MARTIN MCDONAGH
Based on the play by Martin McDonagh

Main Cast

EMILY WATSON as Maureen Folan
JAMES NESBITT as Pato Dooley

Tagline: "Love can hide our demons. Desperation can reveal our true nature"

Synopsis: Maureen is forty years old. She lives in a small cottage in Leenane, Ireland with her manipulative and selfish seventy year-old mother Mag. Life can be considered depressing for Ms. Folan, as all her sisters have gone to a life of marriage and family. Maureen finds misery in her day to day life, which consists of attending to her demanding mother's needs, dealing with a history of mental illness, and frequent visits from Ray Dooley, a family friend who obnoxiously attempts to carry the personality of a bad boy, but shows no threat what so ever. It is also known by Mag that Maureen once shared a romantic chemistry with Pato, Ray's lonely working class brother who now lives in England, a chemistry she did not approve of and never will.

Upon Pato's return from England, the once glowing chemistry between he and Maureen begins to rekindle. Maureen sees this as her chance to fall in love and escape her entrapment known as life with her mother. The more time they spend together, the more they realize their feelings towards each other. It is during this period that Maureen learns of Pato's numerous unanswered letters to her and the fact that she never recieved them because they were all destroyed by Mag.

A series of uprisng and downfall in romance occurs for Maureen. After a fight with Pato and his return to England, she finds herself in the same place she was before. But hope begins to show when he sends her a letter confessing his growing love for her, and that he desires for her to join him in going to Boston, where he has accepted a new job. Time and trust become factors after Mag gets a hold of the letter and destroys it, resulting in the revalation of Maureen's nature at the hands of her illness. One that included years of physical abuse towards her mother. Maureen now finds herself determined to reach Pato and simply confess her feelings and escape Leenane, but she may learn that her own personal demons could hold her back, not just her mother.

What the Press would say:

"It can easily be said that Martin McDonagh has a knack for writing a great story. His feature film debut, In Bruges, introduced him to the world of film. A successful introduction for the renowned playwright. "Leenane" is a wonderful stage to screen adaptation of his own play. The setting is captured uniquely and superbly. The scenes in the dimly lit kitchen (where most of the play took place) are meant to give a feeling of personal entrapment and at times, clautrophobia, but are shot with such spectacular skill, only McDonagh himself could have perfected them the way he did. Yes, some scenes may make you feel uncomfortable in their sense of staying in room for minutes at a time, but the camera moves wonderfully with techniques ranging from tracking shots to ship shape editing. Its a balance that allows you to understand the intended vibe, yet also breaks away from making the viewer feel uncomfortable to the point that the film becomes unenjoyable. McDonagh also takes advantage of the free range in transfering a story from stage to screen, breaking away from the one room where the play is set, and placing more detail into events that are only spoken of on stage. He converts what you were only able to picture in your mind, and vibrantly gives you the picture of Leenane, Ireland you could only imagine in your mind."

"With a solid script comes solid performances from its four main stars. Emily Watson is the perfectly casted Maureen Folan. Her look, her skill, her character's personality. From the moment we are introduced to the frail and dynamic character of Maureen, we feel a sense of sheer brilliance in the job that Mrs. Watson puts forth. The effort and succesful job put forth by Brenda Fricker creates such a splendid chemistry between both actresses that you never feel a sense of acting, yet a natural flow of words between two human figures in many different scenarios. Mr. Nesbitt may have found his calling for an Oscar in his portrayal of the lonely and humble, yet charming and modestly confident Pato. With the dramatic sense and the dark themes/humor of the film, also comes its comic relief in the form of Mr. Farrell as Ray. The absolute entertainment provided by his [Mr. Farrell's] performance as the unthreatening bad boy wannabe Ray, is one that fits liekt he perfect connection betwen two puzzle pieces, it completes the connection of actor and character. The acting showcase of this film is simply appearing as if it is bound to become a pool of nomination (and a hopeful win or two) for its splendid cast of actors."

BEST PICTURE (Comedy/Musical)
BEST DIRECTOR- Martin McDonagh
BEST ACTRESS- Emily Watson
BEST ACTOR- James Nesbitt
BEST ORIGINAL SONG- "She Says Goodbye" performed by Glen Hansard & Dolores O'Riordan

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