The Bachelor Weekend – A Highlight of the Tribeca Film Festival

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How it’s New York: It aired at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
How it’s Irish: It is made in Ireland with an Irish cast, direction and production.

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Raglan Road‘ and ‘One‘ by U2 are unusual bedfellows, but meld together nicely in John Butler’s ‘The Bachelor Weekend’ recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. For the most part, the film is very much a tale of modern Ireland. Gone are all traces of the ‘begorrahs’ of yesteryear, as well as the treacheries of poverty, the english and the catholic church, while instead a very cosmopolitan current Dublin is presented.

Fionan (Hugh O’Connor) is planning his wedding. Unusually for a groom, he is the one interested in all the intricate details and even creates a miniature set of the seating arrangements. He is a set designer, so this is no big deal for him. His bride (Amy Huberman) is delighted. The wedding planner, (Justine Mitchell), however, not so much, and brilliantly portrays her derision toward everything related to Fionan.

The best man, Davin, beautifully played by Andrew Scott is set the task of arranging a stag event for the nerdy Fionan. To these intellectually inclined men, the idea of a stag is an alien event better suited to their neanderthal brothers, but cajoled by the bride to be, it is set up. The glitch is that they have to invite the soon to be brother-in-law, whose apt nickname is ‘The Machine’ (Peter McDonald). One of the funniest scenes in the film involves Davin leaving a long and trailing voicemail for ‘The Machine’, inviting him to the stag in such a way that he will be totally put off from joining them. ‘We are going for a long, silent walk in the mountains – in the rain’, he implores.

The ensuing weekend is full of gags and misadventures as you would expect, but the surprise in the this movie, is the emotional flowering that occurs for each character. The uber cerebral types are forced to come out of their heads and become more physical and bold; while the outwardly oafish get the opportunity to take a trip within and a chance to soften.

Peter McDonald, co-writer with John Butler, plays ‘The Machine’ and puts in a spot on performance which perfectly balances the sometimes fine line his character walks between extreme outward boorishness and an inner sensitivity.

It is showing On Demand right now, and not to be missed by American audiences who rarely enough get a glimpse of modern Irish life.

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Copyright 2014 New York Irish Arts
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