Who says you have to stick with American-made movies this Oscar season? Terry Byrne, associate professor of communication studies, specializes in movies from the Emerald Isle. Here are his top picks.
1. Michael Collins. This retelling of Irish independence and civil war is “an aspect of Irish history that most Americans, including Irish Americans, know nothing about,” Byrne says.
2. In America. Byrne likes this one because it’s “a 20th-century rewrite of the Irish immigrant story with a strong emotional hook.”
3. Disco Pigs. “It’s very Irish,” Byrne says of this intense psychological study, “but also very 21st-century—there’s nothing cute or quaint here.”
4. The Butcher Boy. This grisly drama is critical of traditional Irish Catholic culture. “That’s something Irish Americans need to understand,” Byrne adds. “Ireland is moving away from the Catholic Church.”
5. Kisses. “The Irish don’t like happy endings,” Byrne says. “They don’t trust them. Being an Irish film, there is no happy ending here—but it’s as upbeat as they get.”