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The Banshees Of Inisherin Finds Fans Everywhere, But Not So Much In Ireland

In 2022, Martin McDonagh returned to the big screen, bringing his "In Bruges" costars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson along for the ride. The two actors began a friendship on the set of "In Bruges," resulting in unbelievable chemistry in "The Banshees of Inisherin."

The dark comedy film tells the tragic story of two lifelong Irish friends, Colm Doherty (Gleeson) and Pádraic Súilleabháin (Farrell). To the surprise of everyone living on the small fictional island of Inisherin, Colm one day decides he no longer appreciates the company of Pádraic, wanting instead to spend the rest of his life making music. However, Pádraic can't let his friend go, constantly bothering him until Colm gives him a drastic ultimatum.

Both Gleeson and Farrell give masterful performances in "Banshees," giving audiences such an incredible breakup story that the actors feared it would ruin their real-life relationship. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, as they have been living it up, receiving countless nominations and awards for their performances. At the 95th Academy Awards, "The Banshees of Inisherin" racked up nine nominations, including best picture, and individual nominations for McDonagh, Farrell, and Gleeson. Unlike some top award-season contenders, "Banshees" also resonated with moviegoers, scoring a 75% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

With the film's critical and audience acclaim, it's clear that McDonagh made something special. However, it seems he may have missed the mark with the people he set out to depict.

The Irish are not fans of The Banshees of Inisherin

While "The Banshees of Inisherin" is getting immense praise in the United States, the same isn't happening in Ireland, the country where Martin McDonagh's movie takes place. According to Yahoo, many Irish-based critics aren't happy with the depiction of their home, citing numerous stereotypical tropes featured throughout the film. In the movie, the people of the fictional Inisherin sit in pubs all day, talk in an exaggerated Irish language, and replace every "my" with "me," showing that Hollywood hasn't gotten past the typical Irish tropes. Jenny Farrell, a lecturer at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, said, "The film ends up feeding the usual stereotypes about Ireland ... International film awards are by no means a good film guide."

In an essay for Slate, Mark O'Connell grilled McDonagh's stylization of the Irish, stating, "It isn't always clear whether McDonagh is subverting ancient cliches about Ireland and the Irish — misty poeticism, rural backwardness, prodigious boozing, etc. — or merely employing them in his own distinct way."

During an interview with IndieWire, Irish film critic Donald Clarke told the outlet that while McDonagh's films see success in the country, there's "a tension in Ireland about his treatment of the country." To make it a family affair, McDonagh's brother, filmmaker John Michael McDonagh, faced severe backlash for his harsh criticism of Irish movies, calling them unintelligent. While Martin McDonagh continues to dance around the issue, the Irish remain firm on their stance regarding his work.