The Banshees of Inisherinwriter-director Martin McDonagh’s latest film marks a reunion for him and leads Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson: fifteen years ago, they worked together for In Bruges. In that film, Farrell and Gleeson played London-based Irish hitmen on the run in Belgium, with opposing views of their circumstances – similar to bansheesin which the pair play best friends in 1920s Ireland who have become estranged.
For BrugesBritish-Irish McDonagh, who got his start in theater and won an Oscar in 2006 for his short film Six shooter, cast the two Irish alongside Ralph Fiennes as rival assassins. After the 2008 Sundance premiere of the film, THR‘s review was glowing: “Martin McDonagh has made a daring combination of Old World grace and modern ultra-violence in his feature debut. Packed with beautiful lines delivered by a beautiful cast, In Bruges …plays with conventions and above all transcends limitations. … Going against type, Gleeson brings sweetness to the role, while Farrell manages to be hideous and sympathetic at the same time.
Come prize season, In Bruges earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Comedy or Musical, Best Supporting Actor for Gleeson, and Best Leading Actor for Farrell, who won the award. McDonagh also received an original screenplay Oscar nomination (he would earn another screenplay nomination for 2017’s Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, as well as a nom for best photo). The trio’s second collaboration could do just as well, if not better – banshees is nominated in the same Globe categories, with additional recognition for McDonagh in directing and writing.
From writing plays versus screenplays, McDonagh recently split up THR‘s Writer Roundtable: “When writing screenplays you can jump around in time and space, and scenes can be two lines long and then three pages? We don’t really do that in plays. A scene is seven pages long or it is an act long. Now I find it harder to go back and write plays because I love jumping around.
This story first appeared in a standalone January issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.