Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson’s buddy comedy duo ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ enters the Oscar race.
Has Farrell’s big moment arrived after ‘The Batman’ earlier this year and an Oscar snub for ‘In Bruges’?
If Colin Farrell does not receive an Oscar nomination for “The Banshees of Inisherin” this year, he will never receive one. That’s all I could think of after seeing his performance in Martin McDonagh’s latest dark comedy.
And who would have predicted that Farrell and Brendan Gleeson would become the quintessential modern comedic duo? I thought the duo’s magic in “In Bruges” (2008) was a one-hit wonder, but with “The Banshees of Inisherin,” they’ve rediscovered their old alchemy.
McDonagh’s latest pitch-black romp, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” uses the simplest premise in recent memory: a man tries to figure out why his best friend no longer wants to talk to him. Moral complexities and new perspectives on love and forgiveness emerge from that premise.
Over the course of his 25-year career in Hollywood, Farrell has had his fair share of setbacks and comebacks, with his story resembling that of Robert Downey Jr. He was a tabloid-tinged Icarus who has reinvented himself as one of our finest screen actors with a string of impressive performances in a diverse range of films. It’s time to recognise him. Consider his performance this year. In addition to his work in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” the Irish heartthrob vanished beneath mounds of prosthetics as the Penguin in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” and then as a heroic cave diver risking everything to save trapped children in Ron Howard’s “Thirteen Lives.” If justice is served, all of Farrell’s efforts will result in his first Oscar nomination. It’s almost time.
Gleeson is a beloved and well-respected actor who has worked in the industry for over four decades. His dry wit and psychologically thoughtful performance may be enough to earn him his first Oscar nomination. There’s a masterclass exchange between Farrell and Gleeson that has me convinced that Gleeson could be this season’s Jim Broadbent. That’s a reference to the veteran character actor’s Oscar win for “Iris” (2001), which came after a lifetime of memorable but largely unnoticed performances.
Gleeson will almost certainly be nominated for best supporting actor, despite the fact that he and Farrell are co-leads.
Mark your calendars: international actress Kerry Condon has arrived. She slices and dices in key scenes as the gutter-mouth sister, making her a force to be reckoned with in the supporting actress race this season.
Barry Keoghan has quietly risen through the ranks of exciting thespians. The general public may recognise him from “Eternals” (2021) or his one-scene cameo as the Joker in “The Batman.” But for those of us who consider ourselves “day ones” with Keoghan, “Dunkirk” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” got us excited for everything else he had to offer. “Banshees” confirms his promise, and your heart will swoon in a beautiful exchange by the water between him and Condon, in which he pitches a possible future together. But Gleeson appears to be more of a lock, and Keoghan’s limited screen time will be his biggest challenge.
In technical races, it’s unclear what “Banshees” can muster. If it becomes popular, it stands a chance in categories such as cinematography, editing, and Carter Burwell’s sombre score.
“Banshees” has one strong suit. There are many depressing films and films with long running times. McDonagh’s film is under two hours long and is packed with laughs.
It goes without saying that McDonagh, once the theater’s enfant terrible and now in his slightly more subdued middle age, isn’t for everyone. Even “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” received mixed reviews, with some critics condemning the film’s violence and vigilantism. Many more fiery takes on “Banshees” will follow. But here’s an opinion: passionate debate isn’t always a bad thing.