film review: In Bruges (2008)

film review: In Bruges (2008)

Ireland doesn’t tend to feature much at the Academy Awards… Ok, this year wasn’t too bad with Daniel Day-Lewis winning and Saoirse Ronan nominated, however, generally, it’s more of an observers night for Irish fans. Except in 2004 when Martin McDonagh won the Oscar for Best Short Film for a quiet little film called Six Shooter.

In Bruges poster Colin FarrellI have to admit I didn’t see Six Shooter until after it won, it got repeated a couple of times on RTÉ then so I caught late one night. I’m glad I did though, it’s a great short film. Anyway, In Bruges is the first feature length film from the aforementioned writer/director.

So is it any good? Well I think so! I have to admit though, it was actually quite different from what I expected and it was actually a lot funnier than I thought it would be. I don’t really want to say too much about it, I enjoyed it because it is so different from what I’d expected from the trailer. I will say though that Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are both excellent, the relationship between the two of them is very well played. Given that most of the film just involves the two of them, this is very important!

I really liked the pacing of the film as well. It’s been a while since I’ve been interested in various “reveals” that a film-maker generally pops in to move a story along. Often they are either so sign-posted as to make no difference or they’re so left-field that it just makes the film ridiculous. In this case I thought they really worked. There was a good mix of action, characterisation, plot exposition and humour and in my eyes a good mix of different elements is what all films should really be aiming for.

Unfortunately, as always, it’s not perfect. I didn’t particularly enjoy Clémence Poésy‘s character. She was alright but I thought having her there was a bit of a waste of time to be honest.

But overall, it’s smart, funny, good looking 😉 and there’s a midget in it (or is he a dwarf?). What more do you want?


EDIT: Fionnuala – Ireland at the Oscars – ok fine, there was that song once that did pretty well… 😉


  1. comment-avatar
    CJFebruary 27, 2008 - 12:38 am

    Just realised I havnt gone to the cinema in ages. You have inspired me. And given that I will be going to these films on your recommendations I will be absolved of all responsibility, which takes a lot of the pressure off going to the cinema. Thanks. Will continue to read your reviews!

  2. comment-avatar
    nicola-tFebruary 27, 2008 - 1:31 pm

    Thanks! Though I’m thinking maybe I should put a standard disclaimer on these – don’t blame me if you don’t like the film!!

  3. comment-avatar
    FionnualaFebruary 27, 2008 - 9:43 pm

    I think there might be a glaring omission in your Ireland at the Oscars observation there!

    p.s. I want to see In Bruges though.
    p.p.s. I met Brendan Gleeson during the Six Shooter shoot. He wasn’t wearing a top at the time :-O

  4. comment-avatar
    CianFebruary 29, 2008 - 1:52 pm

    Is it only me who can’t help but think of Dr. Evil whenever I hear this film’s title? “This is for all my homies in Bruges”

  5. comment-avatar
    nicola-tFebruary 29, 2008 - 2:04 pm

    Hmm… yeah ok, I think it might just be you Cian 😉

    But for anyone who’s wondering what he’s talking about (like I was!) you can see it here

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