Today is St. Patrick's Day, a holiday that many Americans, decked out in their green garb, regardless of their own ethnic particulars, celebrate with great enthusiasm and often copious amounts of alcoholic libations. For viewers interested in Ireland beyond the green beer and raucous parades, a solid film to consider is 1993's "In the Name of the Father."
"In the Name of the Father" is based on a true story of the woes in late 20th century Ireland. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon, a small-time thief who, along with several of his friends, is falsely accused of an IRA bombing. They are bullied by British police into a confession and sentenced to many years in prison. Gerry serves his sentence with his father, Giuseppe (played by Pete Postlethwaite), who was accused of being an accomplice. After serving many years, they meet a British lawyer (played by Emma Thompson) who works hard to help them.
"In the Name of the Father" has an amazing cast. Daniel Day-Lewis is stunning as Gerry. Although he is English, Day-Lewis sounds very authentic with an Irish accent. His stellar work earned him an Academy Award nomination. Emma Thompson is also great. Her tenancy is evident in every scene. She also earned an Oscar nomination.
The screenplay for this film is strong, giving flesh and blood characters, not saintly victims. Although Gerry is not the terrorist he is falsely accused of being, he is still a thief. Also, the script does a good job showing Gerry's relationship with his loving dad, who is a better person and is trying to help his son.
"In the Name of the Father" is a good choice for those who want a serious element to their St. Patrick's Day celebrations.