The Boston Phoenix
Review from issue: September 17 - 24, 1998

[Boston Film Festival]

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Waking Ned Devine

Struck perhaps by the spectacle of naked old men riding a motorcycle, the distributors of Waking Ned Devine hope to have another Full Monty on their hands. In fact, this Irish tall tale has neither the comic nor the social edge of that hit, but it does sport a pair of genial performances. Sweetly cunning Jackie O'Shea (Ian Bannen) and sweetly gullible Michael O'Sullivan (David Kelly) are trying to learn who among the two-digit populace of their tiny coastal village has won the National Lottery. Their ruses include sending invitations to a chicken dinner that gathers the usual local eccentrics: an elderly shopkeeper with the hots for Michael; a single mother and her pig-farmer suitor, who smells of his trade; an arrogant big-city returnee; and a nasty crone in a wheelchair. Only old Ned Devine is missing, and our heroes' ploys to separate him from his ticket range from the mordantly hilarious to the tiresome. Although framed by a prologue and a coda that are small comic gems, and sparked by the breezy charm of the two leads, Ned Devine mostly just lies in state. Screens at the Copley Place Friday, September 18 at 7 and 9 p.m. and Saturday, September 19 at 11 a.m. and 1 and 4 p.m.

-- Peter Keough

Film Festival Feature Films

| The Witman Boys | The Cruise | Confessions of a Sexist Pig | Melting Pot | Pleasantville | Clay Pigeons | Waking Ned Devine | Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane | My Name is Joe | Six Ways to Sunday | The Theory of Flight | A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries | Down in the Delta | Children of Heaven | I Married a Strange Person | 20 Dates | Bandits |

More Boston Film Festival information, film descriptions, and show times

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