Cert: 12A

Dance First

Genius has a mind of its own

Gabriel Byrne stars as the great Samuel Beckett in this spirited biopic. The film opens with Beckett’s receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature, with director James Marsh imagining the playwright abandoning the event to converse with a younger version of himself. From there, the film zooms out to focus on several formative chapters in his life - including key moments in his relationships with his mother, his mentor James Joyce, his wife Suzanne and his long-term mistress Barbara.

Byrne is understated and brilliant as one of Ireland’s most formidable artists, with equally confident support from Fionn O’Shea as a younger Beckett. The rest of the cast also impresses, including the superb Sandrine Bonnaire as Suzanne and Aidan Gillen as Joyce.

Director: James Marsh

Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Sandrine Bonnaire, Aidan Gillen, Maxine Peake

‘Byrne is quietly magnificent as the giant of modernism, playing him with a droll fatalism and darts of dark humour’

Alan Corr, RTÉ

‘The film can be a treat to look at, shot mostly in glowing, milky black and white’

Danny Leigh
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