Waking Ned Devine (1998)

WAKING NED DEVINE is a frustrating film.  At the center of this 
overwhelmingly overpoweringly friendly Irish import-- about Lotto 
madness in a remote fishing village-- are two scheming seniors (Ian 
Bannen and David Kelly, both superb) whose conniving chemistry re-
calls the comic elegance of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.  Too 
bad that writer/director Kirk Jones heaps a half-dozen or so scat-
tered subplots on top of them, most of which are underdeveloped to 
the point of distraction.  (Okay, the love story's cute, I'll give 
you that.)  Midway through the longest ninety-five minutes that I 
can recall, when one of the main characters has an abrupt (and not 
fully fathomable) change of heart, the tone is stretched to an im-
possibly broad degree.  Hilarity walks arm-in-arm with hushed rev-
erence (plus one bit of deliciously cruel black comedy at the end) 
and then the whole thing is soaked in a cloying, Celtic-flavored 
(what else?) score that, for the first time since their renovation, 
made me wish that the Rialto Theatre's sound system wasn't as good 
as it is.  Oh well, at least A CIVIL ACTION was good.  With Fionnu-
la Flanagan, Susan Lynch, James Nesbitt, Brendan F. Dempsey, Jimmy 
Keogh, and, as the local grinch, Eileen Dromey, an older actress 
whose facial features are so wonderful scrunched together that she 
could pass for a creature in the next STAR WARS film.  (Rated "PG"/
95 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1999 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: I Say Let Him SLeep

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros