Black Irish

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Overview

A young man struggles to grow up with principles as his family begins to self-destruct around him in this coming of age drama. Cole McKay (Michael Angarano) is a boy in his middle-teens growing up in an Irish-Catholic family in Boston. While Cole has dreams of playing major league baseball some day, his parents Desmond (Brendan Gleeson) and Margaret (Melissa Leo) are blind to his ambitions, and his older brother Terry (Tom Guiry) is a petty criminal who is unwittingly drawing Cole into his orbit. While Margaret ...
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Overview

A young man struggles to grow up with principles as his family begins to self-destruct around him in this coming of age drama. Cole McKay (Michael Angarano) is a boy in his middle-teens growing up in an Irish-Catholic family in Boston. While Cole has dreams of playing major league baseball some day, his parents Desmond (Brendan Gleeson) and Margaret (Melissa Leo) are blind to his ambitions, and his older brother Terry (Tom Guiry) is a petty criminal who is unwittingly drawing Cole into his orbit. While Margaret is obsessed with projecting an image that the McKay family are happy and God-fearing folk, Desmond has been sinking deeper into depression ever since he lost his job, and his marriage is slowly but surely falling apart. The family's pride takes a body blow when Cole's teenage sister Kathleen (Emily Van Camp) discovers she's pregnant, but Cole decides it's time he took on some adult responsibilities, and gets himself a part-time job at a restaurant. Black Irish was the first directorial effort for screenwriter Brad Gann.
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Special Features

Commentary track; 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound; Behind the scenes of Black Irish
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/8/2008
  • UPC: 096009539597
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: Platinum Disc
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brendan Gleeson Desmond
Michael Angarano Cole
Tom Guiry Terry
Emily VanCamp Kathleen
Melissa Leo Margaret
Michael Rispoli
Francis Capra
Scott Winters Doctor
Technical Credits
Brad Gann Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Andrea Bottigliero Editor
Kelly Crean Producer
Geraldine Crean Executive Producer
Mark Donadio Producer
Paul Epstein Asst. Director
Paula Fairfield Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Fimognari Cinematographer
Sayda Foell Associate Producer
John Frizzell Score Composer
J. Todd Harris Producer
Virginia Johnson Costumes/Costume Designer
Frederick Johntz Associate Producer
Barry Levy Executive Producer
Sharon Lomofsky Production Designer
Miriam Marcus Executive Producer
Laray Mayfield Associate Producer, Casting
Jeffrey Orenstein Producer
Brian Ross Musical Direction/Supervision
David Schwartz Sound/Sound Designer
Marc Toberoff Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Black Irish
1. The Casper [6:10]
2. House Break [6:26]
3. Money Pitch [6:23]
4. Gift Wrap [5:47]
5. Ristorante Marcellino [7:14]
6. Saint Agnes Home [6:24]
7. Call Me [6:33]
8. Bird Man [5:21]
9. Bad News [7:01]
10. Genealogy [6:54]
11. The Big C [6:37]
12. Catch a Break [5:17]
13. Connections [6:41]
14. Bed Rest [6:56]
15. One Last Game [5:31]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Black Irish
   Play
   Scene Selection
   Bonus
      Behind the Scenes Featurette
      Play With Feature Commentary: On
      Play With Feature Commentary: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Disintegration of a Family

    BLACK IRISH is one of those little Independent films that manage to give more to the audience than the extreme constrictions of time and budget would suggest. Writer/director Brad Gunn (his first film) manages to tell a story about an Irish family from South Boston that is sincere, realistic, poignant, and profound, and though he worked with a small budget and a shooting schedule of 22 days, he has produced a fine little gem of a film. The McKay family has problems: father Desmond (Brendan Glesson) lacks work and spends most of his time drinking beer and watching baseball on TV, having been a promising baseball player as a youngster but nipped by the Vietnam War into glum lethargy mother Margaret (Melissa Leo) resents the shadow of the man she married and works as a social worker to support her family daughter Kathleen (Emily VanKamp) is pregnant, unwed, and when denied the choice of abortion by her mother's strong Catholicism is determined to have the child by herself, giving it the loving home she feels she has been denied son Terry (Tom Guiry) is a tortured delinquent who is a gang member and always in conflict with the law and youngest son Cole (the excellent young 20-year-old Michael Angarano of 'One Last Thing', 'Man in the Chair', 'Snow Angels', 'Lords of Dogtown', 'Seabiscuit', etc) is conflicted by wanting to be a priest versus wanting to be a professional baseball player - he is the good kid and the last hope of his parents. Terry tricks Cole into accompanying a house break-in and the trouble begins. The financial crisis at home drives Cole to get a job in a restaurant, and drives Desmond to menial work shining shoes. The family will support Kathleen's pregnancy, but that strips the income to the point that Cole must leave his Catholic school to be in public school, and while that seems to dash his hopes for a career in baseball, the coach at his public school (Finn Curtin) acknowledges Cole's talent and promises a future. Terry's lifestyle as a hoodlum presents increasing problems and at one point Cole gathers the courage to confront Terry during a robbery plot at Cole's work place and Terry is seriously wounded. We discover a hidden fact about Desmond that explains some of his sociopath behavior to his family and it is this discovery, coinciding with Terry's gunshot injury and Kathleen's tough life as an unwed working pregnant girl, that pulls the family unit back together. If the plot sound like soap opera rest assured it is not. This is an intensely realistic examination of a fragile Irish Catholic family striving to makes sense of a world that is increasingly chaotic. All of the actors are excellent, but the extraordinary sensitivity and skill of young Michael Angarano make this a film to cherish. And Brad Gann is assuredly a talent to watch! Very highly recommended. Grady Harp

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