"And the Oscar for Best Midlife Crisis Movie Goes To…"
At the end of last year, I wrote a post focused on the 5 best MEA-themed films of the year, but none of them are up for Best Picture this weekend.
Looking at the 10 Best Picture nominees, there’s one that highlights the trials and tribulations of midlife better than any other, The Banshees of Inisherin, a film that was clearly not conceived by a Hollywood marketing genius (otherwise, it would have a better name).
The film in the form of a fable has evocative cinematography, a gorgeous score, eccentric characters, and phenomenal acting. It is set exactly 100 years ago on a remote, fictional island off of Ireland. The midlife themes are both subtle and obvious: the value of friendship vs. legacy, how the fear of death is a motivator for what to do with this life, the tenuous nature of midlife mental health (the “Great Midlife Edit” has a whole, gory new meaning here), the need to leave comfort to go on a heroine’s journey (actor Colin Farrell’s sister, actress Kerry Condon), and the feeling of being trapped.
I know this sounds like a depressing flick, but there’s a black humor that offers levity with the heavy helping of gravitas. More than anything, it’s a story of loneliness, a topic as timeless and relevant today as it was 100 years ago. Director Martin McDonagh was enthused to reunite actors Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell who were in another McDonagh film “In Bruges,” a love story between two men forming a friendship, The Banshees of Inisherin is the breakup of two men, losing a friendship. I look forward to seeing the trilogy of this acting duo offering lovely ruminations on what it means to be human.