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Overall Rating

Awesome: 11.76%
Worth A Look: 11.76%
Pretty Bad: 17.65%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 10 user ratings

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by Erik Childress

"Nothing Says Love Like A Punch To The Face"
3 stars

Ahhh, love. It will make us do such crazy things. Whether its jumping into or falling out of it, with another person or ourselves, impulsive behavior is never as frequent a topping as it is in amore. The interim period is a confusing time for people. How do we all handle it? Should we even be in love with anything or anyone? As one character physically sums up this cynical beast in the opening scene, he lures an innocent waitress (and us along with her) into a submission of sweet words, wooing her to his charms. Then as anyone least expects it, he brutally clocks her in the face and makes away with her money. Ahhh, love.

This hooligan is just one of many characters we’ll meet in another of the multi-cast plot zigzags, interlocking with one another so we get something like a half-dozen stories for the price of one. Colin Farrell is that Irish hooligan, Lehiff, who seems to have no other motivation but for crime. Detective Jerry Lynch (Colm Meaney) has his eye on him, but is more interested in getting his own Cops-documentary from an ambitious, young television producer (Tom O’Sullivan).

John (Cillian Murphy) watches his brilliant idea of dumping Deirdre (Kelly MacDonald) to test her devotion to him go up in smoke when she immediately shacks up with Sam the bank manager (Michael McElhatton) who in turn has left his own wife (Deirdre O’Kane). Deirdre’s sister, Sally (Shirley Henderson) doesn’t exactly approve and hardly pulling in the men herself with her “not quite Burt Reynolds or Tom Selleck” mustache. John’s buddy, Oscar (David Wilmot) urges him to get back on the horse, while being stuck in a crappy job and so lovelorn himself that even porn fails to be satisfying.

I haven’t even mentioned Deirdre and Sally’s mum (Ger Ryan), the bus driver recently put out of work (Brian F. O'Byrne) or the mysterious lad with a penchant for throwing rocks right into these people’s lives. With so many characters, Intermission nearly drowns itself several times by trying to keep up with all of them. Director John Crowley and screenwriter Mark O’Rowe thankfully connect-the-dots rather early so we’re involved in the characters and not what their potential linkage may be. It would be unfair to divulge any further since each scene contains a reveal for what the next step in their lives will be.

Meaney’s detective is an unneeded distraction and doesn’t fit in as fluently as Farrell’s devil-on-the-shoulder. Oscar and Sally’s plotlines provide enough sweetness and sadness to offset the nuttiness going on around them. The resolution is more than a little maddening as the fates of several characters appear sealed shut only for them to appear on crutches or wheelchairs before the credits.

Intermission is a mixed bag, but is certainly a worthy effort for one’s attention. Its humor is twisted and usually mean-spirited in nature, perfect for those in limbo between love and loss who prefer to feed themselves dark beers as opposed to offering conciliation. Its humble sincerity often folds back in on itself with behavior out of the norm, contributing to keeping us on our toes even if we come down just as tentatively. As for its mantra of taking risks and saying things that should be said when they need to be, Intermission is worth the risk even if it doesn’t always do the latter.

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originally posted: 03/26/04 16:58:02
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/24/11 hurdygurdy man Scattered effort. Watch only if pickings slim ...make sure to turn on CC. 3 stars
10/04/06 Baldeadly It was good but not Great a little let down. 4 stars
6/26/05 Steve Newman If you can get used to the accents - the films great. Lots of twists and its fun 4 stars
7/11/04 Raymond Excellent movie 5 stars
6/05/04 john bale Half way through you realise its a terrific film. Pulp fiction meets Love Actually in Eire 5 stars
6/05/04 john wow, fun, funny too 5 stars
5/29/04 Cameron Slick A dynamic juggle act of entertainment 4 stars
5/11/04 JERRY great 5 stars
3/20/04 Declan Very good movie, Colm Meaney is the star of the show. Best opening scene in a long time. 4 stars
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  19-Mar-2004 (R)
  DVD: 19-Oct-2004



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