Friday, September 16, 2016

Film: "Iona" (2015)

This was the last film I saw in the Dublin film festival earlier this year. It set on a Scottish island, but not obviously the island of Iona, with the name of the film coming from the name of the protagonist, played by Ruth Negga. The film begins with her and a teenage boy driving a car, getting a ferry to somewhere, parking the car and setting fire to it, walking on to somewhere else and then getting a boat to the island the film is about. She is returning to the island after leaving it when she was 16 or thereabouts, with her son (who is… about the same age in years as she has been gone from the island dunn dunn dunnnnnn). It is one of those tangled webs and dark secrets revealed films.

I found aspects of the film appealing though I thought some of the roads it chose to go down were a bit distasteful. Ultimately it was only OK but it was great to see Negga in anything as she is one of those actors one could happily watch reading the phone book. Before she went away to seek her fortune in the world of TV and cinema she was the greatest Dublin stage actor of her generation.

Some women sat near me in the cinema tittered all the way through it, like they had been drinking or something.

image source (Up Late At Night Again)


Andrew Farrell said...

Oh good - I am a savage so only know her from comics-based TV - what was her stage history?

ian said...

I was thinking about this the other day. There was a time when it seemed like she was in everything I saw on the Dublin stage but now I find it hard to remember anything in particular she was in. Two I remember her as Antigone in "The Burial at Thebes" (Seamus Heaney's reworking of Sophocles' "Antigone") and as Lavinia in a production of "Titus Andronicus". She was also in the not very good version of Euripides' "Bacchae" that they did in the Abbey.

My sense is that a non-white actor gets better roles on the stage (particularly when appearing in Shakespeare or classical drama) than on TV or in films. I could be wrong about this, of course.