Movies set in Ireland have no set genre; there are comedies, dramas, romances, and action movies. Regardless of their plot or point, however, they are almost universally beautiful, with the spirit of the country shining through the dialect, the characterizations, the landscape, and the scenery. I recently read the book which inspired one of the Irish movies on this list, which in turn inspired me to write about the topic. My family is heavily Irish on my mother’s side so I’ve always been interested in the country and culture, and I’ve always dreamed of visiting. Until then, I watch all the films in Ireland I can, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favorites and hearing some of yours!
1. Circle of Friends (1995)
This is one of my favorite movies set in Ireland, and the book on which it’s based is the one I was just talking about. The novel is a lot different from the movie, but the film has its own merits. For instance, the backdrop of Dublin is gorgeous, especially the university scenes, and I adore Benny’s village. The movie also introduced the world to Minnie Driver and highlighted a girl who isn’t conventionally beautiful ending up with the guy – even if that’s not quite the way the book portrayed things.
2. Angela’s Ashes (1999)
You can’t talk about Irish movies without discussing Angela’s Ashes, which made a splash in both its literary and its cinematic forms. Frank McCourt portrayed a grim, depressing world, one many people have never experienced – until reading the book or seeing the movie made by it. At that point we can all feel like we experienced Limerick as it once was.
3. Veronica Guerin (2003)
Okay, I’m just realizing that not all of these movies are specifically «delightful,» but they are incredibly good. This one is incredibly illuminating, terribly moving, and extraordinarily tragic as well. The story of Veronica Guerin is sad and intriguing, and Cate Blanchett’s portrayal helps to reveal a lot about the journalist and her heartbreaking demise.
4. Michael Collins (1996)
This film takes place during a troubled period in Ireland’s history, spanning the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War with Liam Neeson playing the title character. I’m not going to say that it’s entirely historically accurate or anything, but it has Alan Rickman too, and that pleases me very much. Besides, this film in Ireland is also accentuated by gorgeous on-site locations, feathering both the Wicklow Mountains and Dublin.
5. About Adam (2000)
I love this film for a number of reasons, including my inexplicable love for Stuart Townsend. It’s both light and interesting to me, I don’t hate the premise, and I have an inexplicable LIKE for Kate Hudson, too. The POV shots give the movie some depth, and you can’t beat the backdrop.
6. The Crying Game (1992)
So, this one isn’t exactly delightful either, but it’s definitely one of the most darkly intriguing movies set in Ireland. It’s ending, at least, is pretty notorious by now, but if that’s all you’ve ever heard about it, give it a watch. The fact that it occurs during the Irish Troubles gives it an interesting, suspenseful plot, and the core issues are … well, they’re one for the books!
7. The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
This one is a movie channel favorite, so chances are you can easily catch it if you haven’t seen it. It’s one of my favorite films in Ireland, and another movie that comes from a really great book. The cinematography is stunning, as is the location and the story. It’s fanciful and sorrowful, with strong familial themes.
8. Waking Ned Devine (1998)
Typically known as Waking Ned Devine in the United States, this is a light Irish film, although it was actually filmed on the Isle of Man. The story is fun, and I like the idea for much the same reason I love Grumpy Old Men. I also have this thing for small town focus, where everyone knows one another.
There are so many gorgeous movies set in Ireland, it’s really hard to create a list. These are just my top favorites, but believe you me, I love recommendations! If your favorite isn’t on this list, then let me know what Irish movies you like best!
Top Image Source: weheartit.com