Director: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ciaran Hinds, Clemence Poesy, Jeremie Renier
Screenplay: Martin McDonagh
107 mins. Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language and some drug use.
- Academy Award Nominee: Best Writing, Original Screenplay
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take a look back at a favorite film of mine from an excellent Irish writer/director, Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths). The film is In Bruges.
Ray (Colin Farrell, Phone Booth, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and his partner Ken (Brendan Gleeson, Edge of Tomorrow, Assassin’s Creed) are two hitmen hiding out in the small town of Bruges in Belgium after Ray accidentally shot and killed a child on the job. What’s wrong with Bruges? Seemingly nothing, but, as Ray points out, it’s fucking Bruges. The small peaceful town has a strange way about it, and Ray soon discovers that there is a larger reason they’ve been sent to Bruges by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The LEGO Batman Movie) in this charming bloodbath.
In Bruges is, simply put, spectacular. From the performances of its main cast (in particular, Colin Farrell puts out the best work of his career) to the man behind the camera, everything is spot on. Farrell and Gleeson share some truly wonderful dialogue-driven scenes and when Fiennes shows up, the film only gets better and better.
McDonagh has an eye for dialogue and a visual sense of beauty in darkness, and he shows it here in his first feature (I also recommend checking out the shit-crazy Seven Psychopaths from the director if you get a chance). His focus on characters and real comedy derived from interesting experiences and moments make the film a completely unique thrill-ride.
In Bruges is just damn incredible. My love for it extends back to a screenwriting study I did on the film some years back, and I find that I continue to admire its pitch-perfect writing and tone upon each viewing. The film’s one problem, if there has to be one, is that it slogs a tiny bit in the second act, but trust me when I say that it doesn’t really hurt the film at all. I highly recommend watching In Bruges today or, hell, any day.
-Kyle A. Goethe
*** Just a side note, In Bruges registers 1.18 “fucks” per minutes. SO yeah, the film is rated R for language.