R, 94 minutes
“Mary and her son, Fergal, are Irish nomads in a shadowy world of magic, where a deadly hunter stalks their every move. When Fergal falls in love with Petronella, a beautiful girl in their new village, it makes mother and son easy targets.” (Netflix)
Starring: James Nesbitt, Kate Dickie, Ciaran McMenamin, Niall Bruton
Written by: Colm McCarthy and Tom K. McCarthy
Directed by: Colm McCarthy
Produced by: Fantastic Films
Distributed by: Vertigo Films
When films are described as “gritty”, that usually means there’s a lot of boobs and swearing. Outcast fits this bill as an Irish urban fairytale in which a mother and son, tired of running, face off against hired hunters in a battle of wills and skill. Gritty describes the texture of the film, as the characters hide in an underclass tenement out in the open but invisible to society at large. It’s unfiltered look Old World Magic – no fancy wands and pretty Latin – blood and sacrifice and pain twined with love and duty drive the main players, with a side story about forbidden love, coming of age, and crossing lines. It’s beautifully paced and doesn’t pretend it’s anything other than the dire warning fairytales were meant to be. Ignore the given description of the movie. There’s a lot more going on than two horny kids.
This is rated R for nudity (male and female), language, gore, violence and sex that lasts about as long as a good coughing fit. If you don’t have an ear for Irish accents, I recommend the subtitles. Oh, and keep your eye out for a “blink and you’ll miss it” peek at a skanktastic pre-Doctor Who Karen Gillian.
1 – Wow Factor – This was an impressive little film. Kudos to the Irish Film Board for the pick.
2 – WanderLust – Only got up once to go to the bathroom, but I waited until nearly 24 minutes to the end.
3 – Rewind – Found it too engrossing to miss a step. It’s not subterfuge that makes this slick, but good, old-fashioned story-telling.
4 – Recommend – I have no idea how this ended up in my queue, but I’m glad it did. I pass it along for those who like their mythologies with a harder edge.
6 – Netflix Rating – Four Stars
Next up – The Graveyard. You can tell it’s quality because the trailer shows a shower scene and someone having sex.