October might be a time for dark, scary horror movies – but what about dark comedies? Martin McDonagh, known for directing acclaimed films like In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is returning this year with his upcoming comedy-drama The Banshees of Inisherin, which brings Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson back together again, having previously doubled up as the two leads of In Bruges. The Banshees of Inisherin is set to debut in UK and Ireland cinemas on 21st October.
The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival back in September, and was met with critical acclaim, with praise going to the performances (Farrell’s in particular was noted, bagging him the Venice Festival’s Volpi Cup for Best Actor), the direction and the writing.
It focuses on two friends during the Irish Civil War, who fall into conflict on a remote island off the coast of Ireland when one of them ends their friendship abruptly. Farrell plays Padraic, who sets himself on repairing the broken friendship between him and Colm (Gleeson), though things get difficult as Colm becomes more stubborn toward fixing things.
Suddenly, the sleepy island of Inisherin and Colm and Padraic’s late afternoon trips to the local pub are disrupted. According to the official synopsis, “Colm’s resolve only strengthens, [and] he soon delivers an ultimatum that leads to shocking consequences.” The film, much like In Bruges, mixes hilarious comedy and heart-tugging drama to create a funny yet heart-breaking story. The rest of the cast includes Barry Keogan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Kerry Condon (Rome, The Walking Dead) and Pat Shortt (Pixie). The official trailer for the film, which you can watch above, shows Farrell and Gleeson’s acclaimed performances in action, and gives an idea of the stylised yet very human and relatable direction in store.
Following the acclaim The Banshees of Inisherin has received, as well as the Volpi Cut award, there’s been increased buzz that the film could do well during the next awards season, with Farrell even being tipped for his very first Best Actor Oscar, along with perhaps Best Original Screenplay (both In Bruges and Three Billboards were nominated for that award). Regardless, the film is looking like it’ll be one of the very best of the year.