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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 4, 2009 @ 11:01 am

    D’Unbelievable

    Fiona McCann

    Tipperary actor Pat Shortt won Best Actor in the Evening Standard Film Awards this week for his role as Josie in Lenny Abrahamson’s powerful film Garage. Though he had to share the gong with Michael Sheen for his Frost in Frost/Nixon, Shortt’s win for a heartbreaking performance – I mean it, this will make your chest hurt – as a lonely, small town petrol pump attendant, was very much deserved. It was also a joy to see Abrahamson up there against Stephen Daldry and Danny Boyle in a nominations shortlist that is selected by a jury of film critics, though Daldry got the nod in the end for The Reader. Those who haven’t seen Garage yet, this is a timely reminder to catch one of the finest films to come out of Ireland in years by a director who might well be the best thing to come out of Irish cinema in . . . well, ever. There, I’ve said it.  Any better contenders?

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    • Quint says:

      Amazing, amazing film. I’ve watched it several times…perfect script – flawless acting from everyone involved – astute yet unshowy direction from Abrahamson. I cannot praise this film highly enough. Shortt’s performance is one of the best pieces of acting I’ve ever seen. Wholly deserved.

    • Chris says:

      Garage is the most thought-provoking film I’ve seen in the last few years. The ending scene- so unshowy, subtle and powerful- has stuck in my memory ever since, a great example of a director giving the audience enough credit to not need to beat them over the head with a message. I think it may well be the finest and truest work of art from Ireland so far this century.

    • Fiona says:

      Quint: Astute and unshowy indeed – and Shortt is gobsmackingly good, isn’t he? Can’t wait for more from Abrahamson – Adam and Paul was smashing as well.

      Chris: I know, final scene was incredible. I thought I was going to get into trouble for being so unstinting in my praise but it’s nice to see I’m not the only one so thrilled by it.

    • Annie says:

      Oh, I loved that film so much. What a brilliant piece of cinematography apart from anything else. I love those long static wide-shots he sets up.

      And yes the performance was amazing.

      I agree, best Irish film ever made.

    • Neil says:

      Totally agreed – it’s a marvellous film, though I think Mark O’Halloran deserves as much attention for writing and producing, as Abrahamson does for directing…

    • Fiona says:

      Annie: Good point – the cinematography was beautiful. I’m so glad you liked it too.

      Neil: You’re right, leaving out Mark O’Halloran was a major oversight. Think he was up for an award as well, though he didn’t win. But yes, he definitely deserves a mention here.


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