St. Patrick's Day is upon us. That means it's time to deck yourself in green, grab a frosty Guinness, and check out some of these Irish-themed movie selections. Ranging from historical to outright fun, these movies are guaranteed to get you in an Irish frame of mind. If anything, it'll be great background noise while you struggle to perfect your grandmothers Irish Potato Candy recipe (the secret is extra coconut).
The Wind That Shakes The Barley- In this sympathetic look at the Irish War of Independence in the early 20th century, "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" is about two brothers brothers once united against the British who are torn apart when ideological differences within their rebellion arise. The 2006 film is the highest grossing from director Ken Loach, who never succumbed to the temptations of Hollywood and instead continues to make independent films. The title of the film is taken from the Robert Dwyer Joyce song of the same name.
Gangs of New York- While this 2002 Martin Scorsese film has been criticized for its lack of historical accuracy, "Gangs of New York" depicts the harsh and dirty streets of the Five Points area in New York and the violence that ensued between Irish immigrants and U.S. born nativist gangs. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz do convincing Irish accents and Daniel-Day Lewis is brilliant in his portrayal of nativist crime boss Bill "the Butcher" Cutting. One highpoint of the film is the stunning sets that were created for production. In an era of CGI effects, it's refreshing to see such extensive work go into set construction.
Darby O'Gill and the Little People- Looking for a family friendly movie? This classic from Disney is filled with Irish luck, magic, and wonder. Originally released in 1959, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" is the tale of an Irishman and his battle with mischievous leprechauns. One of the highlights of the film is seeing a youthful Sean Connery before he ever uttered the words "The name is Bond. James Bond".