Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 87%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 3356

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 02, 2021 at 05:50 AM


Gerard Horan as Mackie
Michael Maloney as Frankie West
Lara McDonnell as Moira
John Sessions as Joseph Tomelty as Marley
902.59 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 38 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 8 / 10

Heartfelt but earns it's heart - a big nostalgic wonder

What was it Mike Nichols once said, a film is like a person and either you trust it or you dont? I think that could be said for Belfast but I thought of it more about a kind of personality that a filmmaker brings to a work as well as the cast and everyone else involved, and on that note Belfast to me is a total sweetheart of a movie, where it has many moments where it's quite cute and charming, but it's always based around the fact that this family is doing their best and more or less succeeding in caring for one another and (as Dornan's dad points out towards the end to the little boy when he asks about if a Catholic can be with a Protestant) what the basic power of kindness can do.

It's a film that manages the feat of having sentiment and even some sentimentality, but earning it throughout because (outside of maybe the bookends where the "Troubles" and all that horrible violence in the streets comes knocking) it doesn't cheapen what the stakes are or what these characters are going through. The basic question of "staying or leaving" is not one we haven't seen before in other films, and I'm sure we'll see again, yet Branaugh as writer/director gives the people here this honesty that is a family that is there together and there is this struggle (mostly for dad) to keep it together.

This is beautifully rendered as well with this point of view coming from the little boy (standing in for Branaugh at that time I can assume but as with like Roma who knows) as he peers in on these arguments and conversations that have a repetition that isn't repetitive, if that makes sense. If you've been in a family that has money problems, this is just the way it is, and Dornan and especially Balfe have this chemistry that works perfectly.

Another thing in its favor: you think the little boy Buddy (played by Jude Hill) will be cute and his interactions with others, especially the grandparents (good lord do Dench and Hinds, the latter I hope gets an Oscar, steal every scene they're in) could get tiresome, but Branaugh manages to keep him engaging and this mix that's hard to describe where he's universal and specific, like you don't even have to be a little boy just like at some time if you were young and trying to figure out a world that has so much stuff in it and there's the escape of movies and the wonder of astronauts alongside the horror of men in the streets throwing molotov cocktails... OK that part isn't everyone's experience, but there's little things Branaugh gets so right as a writer; my favorite is when his older cousin ropes him in as part of a "gang" initiation to steal something from the local sweet shop. How that resolves itself is ::chefs kiss::

This whole thing reminds me of like what if you took one of those stories of childhood via Frank McCourt (or Malachy, one of those) and imbued it with a lot more warmth and a generosity of spirit, and it's in general a difficult movie to dislike or be too hard on without sounding like a grouch without any feelings. At the same time, I am critical of how the film opens and comes to a climax inasmuch as the "Troubles" set pieces are shot and presented in this tremendous manner that, of course, are impossible to ignore as far as the history at the time in Ireland and that city as a whole

But it can't help but feel like... this is where it's a MOVIE in large letters, shot in an intense style like this is where it all becomes so overwhelming, which makes sense given the POV of this boy, and at the same time it loses that intimacy you have throughout the rest of the film, where it's power is in showing life's little moments having even more of a lasting impact. Also, with the one supporting character trying to force the Dad to pick a side as the one person I didn't quite believe (not the actor so much as the character, kind of one note you know). As a small technical aside, as much as I like Branaugh's eye for compositions (both usual and unusual, his framing is off in interesting ways), the digital quality of it all is distracting for me, and I wish this was shot on film for that crisper look.

All that doesn't take away from the pathos that is all here, with humor that works because it's based around like how much we may have enjoyed being around people like this in our families. Is it idealized? I don't know, but it doesn't come across as that, if anything it shows that the human soul and spirit can be resilient and this is a lesson for kids all over but also ones for the adults, too. How is one any *good* in a family? Hard to say, except it comes down to being there and not giving up. That's the kind of tone Belfast has, and it is filled with little grace notes - one that I'm sure to remember is when Dench's grandma tells the grandpa before he has to go to the hospital that she will go with him by bus and take him in and stay with him till its all done and then take him home. She doesn't state it in any way that sounds false, and none of (admittedly very good) Van Morrison music to score this beat. It's just two people who have a love that is self evident by actions.

So, in short: a sweet-heart of a movie, not to mention last but certainly not least that this is a fun time of expressing how remembering history through some pop-culture filtering can be entertaining and insightful (High Noon song, anyone?)

Reviewed by ferguson-6 8 / 10

the dilemma

Greetings again from the darkness. Despite Irish ancestry, during my childhood, Ireland was vaguely described as a place to avoid due to the Northern Ireland Conflict (also known as The Troubles). In contrast, the childhood of writer-director Kenneth Branagh was smack dab in the middle of this political and religious mess. This autobiographical project is a sentimental look back at his youth and the connection to his career as a filmmaker. This is very attractive and appealing filmmaking, and one that acknowledges the violent atmosphere without dwelling on it.

An opening aerial view of present day Belfast shipyards in full color abruptly transitions back to black and white 1969. A young boy plays and skips cheerfully as he makes his way through the apparently idyllic neighborhood. The pleasantries are shattered and give way to the frenzied fear and havoc created by an approaching angry mob. The native Protestants' goal is to push out all Catholics from the area. The happy young boy we first see is Buddy (played by newcomer Jude Hill), the stand-in for Branagh as a child. While watching, we must keep in mind that we are seeing things unfold through Buddy's eyes - which are actually the eyes of a middle-aged director looking back on his upbringing. This explains the sentimentality and nostalgia, two aspects handled exceedingly well.

Buddy and his older brother Will (Lewis McAskie) live with their parents Ma (Caitriona Balfe, FORD V FERRARI, "Outlander") and Pa (Jamie Dornan, "The Fall"), and are close with Granny (Oscar winner Judi Dench) and Pop (Ciaran Hinds, one of the finest supporting actors working today). Pa spends much of his time away in London working as a carpenter, leaving Ma parenting diligently to create normalcy for the boys during tumultuous times. An added stress is the financial woes Ma and Pa face over tax debt. Granny and Pop are an endearing elderly couple still very much in love, despite their constant needling and bickering.

As things escalate, the division over religion becomes more prevalent. Although he attempts to stay out of the fracas, Pa is faced with the "either with us or against us" decision - something he avoids as long as possible. Ma is obsessed with keeping her boys on the straight and narrow, despite their naivety and the many forces pulling them away. The family finds its emotional escape at the local cinema, which treats us to clips of bikini-clad Raquel Welch in ONE MILLION YEARS BC; Grace Kelly and Gary Cooper facing off with a similar 'stay or go' dilemma in HIGH NOON; John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Lee Marvin in THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE; and Dick Van Dyke in his flying car from CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. The sense of awe and wonder is laid on a bit thick for effect, but it helps us connect young Buddy with present day Branagh.

It's quite a family dilemma. How do you decide to pack up and leave the only town you've ever called home, and when do you make that decision? When does the danger and turmoil pose too much to risk for your kids? There is a fun scene that provides young Buddy a lesson on how to answer, "Are you Protestant or Catholic?" It plays comically but has a serious undertone. Speaking of Buddy, newcomer Jude Hall in his feature film debut, uses his sparkling eyes and an engaging smile to light up the screen. His adolescent pining for Catherine (Olive Tennant), the smart girl in his class, is worthy of the price of admission. All of the actors are terrific, and in addition to young Mr. Hall, it's Caitriona Balfe (as Ma) whose performance really stands out. Award considerations should be in her future.

Filmmaker Branagh has assembled a crew of frequent collaborators, including cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos, who works wonders with the monochromatic scheme. The soundtrack is chock full of Van Morrison songs - it is Ireland, after all, and the overall feeling is that this is a film Branagh needed to make in order to deal with his childhood prior to his family relocating to England. By not avoiding The Troubles, yet not focusing on it, Branagh has told his story in a personal way that should be relatable to many. It's a terrific film.

BELFAST opens in theaters on November 12, 2021.

Reviewed by stevendbeard 6 / 10

Slice of Irish Life

I saw Belfast, starring Jamie Dornan-Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, the 50 Shades movies; Caitriona Balfe-Outlander_tv, Escape Plan; Ciaran Hinds-Red Sparrow, Game of Thrones_tv; Judi Dench-Cats, the Bond movies and introducing Jude Hill-this is his first movie.

This movie is directed by Kenneth Branagh and it's based on his childhood in Belfast Ireland during the 1960's. Jude plays the young boy trying to grow up during lots of civil unrest, with rioters plundering the neighborhoods-mostly fighting about religion between the Protestants and the Catholics-and street gangs extorting the people for protection. Jamie is Jude's father, who works away from home a lot and Caitriona is his mother, trying to keep the family together and keep the tax collectors at bay. Ciaran and Judi are his grandparents, offering life lessons that help shape his future. So, if you are interested in a slice of life of an Irish kid during the 1960's, you've come to the right place.

It's rated PG-13 for violence and language and has a running time of 1 hour & 38 minutes.

I wouldn't buy it on DVD but if you are interested in the subject matter, it would be a good rental.

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