Saturday, August 7, 2010

Waking Ned Devine (1998)

Waking Ned Devine was a wonderful movie.  It is about a little town in Ireland where one resident wins a lottery, and how the entire town reacts.

It was made as an independent film, and shot on the Isle of Man.  The filming is beautiful, and every single character is portrayed perfectly by every actor and actress.

My only problem with this film, is the cast members.  Most of them are unknown in the USA, and many of them have only been seen here in TV shows or films that needed Irish background characters.  They are almost all of British or Irish descent.  I am unfamiliar with almost all of them, but of course, that doesn't mean there isn't some great acting in their work as well.  I bet I have seen many of them in some movies, though!

The lead is played by Ian Bannon (1928 - 1999).  His first role was on BBC TV in 1956, and IMDb lists 103 credits.  A look at his list turns up a few movies I've seen or at least heard of.  Flight of the Phoenix in 1965 with James Stewart, "Jayne Ayre" with George C Scott on TV in 1970, Gandhi in 1982 with Ben Kingsley, and Braveheart in 1995 with Mel Gibson.  He played "the leper" in Braveheart, and I am wondering if it was the father of Robert the Bruce.  That was a fairly important role, and his voice did sound similar.

David Kelly (b. 1929) has the most memorable part in the film.  I so much want to give the entire film a complete review, but to do so would absolutely ruin it for you if you haven't seen it.  Kelly started on TV in 1951 and has 93 roles.  He was in The Italian Job with Michael Caine in 1969, but mostly he was on British TV.

Fionnula Flanagan and Susan Lynch hold the female leads in Waking.  Of the two, Flanagan has more international roles, but they both show how good they are in their art.

This is a little, feel good movie that should not be missed, especially if you like British humour.  If you've seen "Faulty Towers" or "Are You Being Served" you should add Waking Ned Devine to your list of movies.  Sit down with a pint of Guinness and enjoy the film.


  1. I read a bit about WAKING after reading a review of THE ENGLISHMAN WHO WENT UP A HILL AND CAME DOWN A MOUNTAIN which briefly compared the two films.

    I haven't seen WAKING, but I like watching films with actors who are unknown (to me) in settings that aren't that familiar (to me).

    The lack of familiarity makes the fictional story more believable; I don't know what to expect (which after years of watching movies is refreshing).

  2. I tried to watch Englishman Who Went Up, but the heavy brogue made it difficult to understand. I should have turned on CC, but I hate reading a movie.

    Waking will not disappoint you. But look deeper than the superficial story, which is funny. It is really a story about friendship, and on many levels, since it follows the lives of almost everyone in the small town.

    You realize this when you get to the funeral scene. That is the pivotal moment, or at least one of them, in the movie. The other one is at the phone box. Enough said!


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