Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends

5.0 4
Director: Pat O'Connor

Cast: Chris O'Donnell, Minnie Driver, Geraldine O'Rawe

     
 

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Set in 1957, this romantic coming-of-age story follows three childhood friends from a small town in Ireland as they head to Dublin to attend Trinity College. Nan (Saffron Burrows), a year older than her friends and already in her second year at Trinity, is ambitious, romantic, and just a bit reckless. She hopes to win the hand of Simon (Colin Firth), an older… See more details below

Overview

Set in 1957, this romantic coming-of-age story follows three childhood friends from a small town in Ireland as they head to Dublin to attend Trinity College. Nan (Saffron Burrows), a year older than her friends and already in her second year at Trinity, is ambitious, romantic, and just a bit reckless. She hopes to win the hand of Simon (Colin Firth), an older Protestant land-owner who would help her rise up the social and economic ladder. Eve (Geraldine O'Rawe), a bit more pragmatic and cautious, finds herself falling for a boy named Aidan (Aidan Gillen). Bernadette (Minnie Driver), called "Benny" by her friends and family, comes from strict parents who won't allow her to live on campus, forcing her to commute back and forth from classes every day. Bennie's father, a haberdasher, has always expected that his daughter, a bit plainer and plumper than her friends, will marry his shop's manager, an odd duck named Sean (Alan Cumming). But at Trinity, Bennie discovers that she fancies a tall, good-looking rugby player named Jack (Chris O'Donnell), and to the surprise of Bennie and everyone else, it turns out that Jack fancies her as well. Circle of Friends gave Minnie Driver her breakthrough film role after her initial success as a television actress in Britain.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
The epic romance that is made of this slight drama set in the Ireland of the 1950s results in a somewhat overblown film that is redeemed by the star-making performances of its lead actress and a pair of supporting players. Minnie Driver, who gained 30 pounds to play the role of Benny Hogan, shines in the role of a lifetime, where she is required to play exuberant, crushed, righteously indignant, naïve, determined, and heartbroken in the course of a script that gives new meaning to the term "character arc." Equally enthralling are then-unknowns Alan Cumming as duplicitous clerk Sean Walsh and Saffron Burrows as the desperate Nan, scheming to save her life and reputation by ruining a friend. Director Pat O'Connor's touch is less than delicate, often lacking a subtlety that would have been welcome, but his cast is nearly flawless. Only Chris O'Donnell strikes a wrong note in the role of a privileged Irish college student, his all-American party boy qualities never quite being submerged enough by his role or questionable accent. Despite these few notable shortcomings, Circle of Friends (1995) is not to be missed for its remarkable acting and early appearances from a trio of performers who would quickly go on to bigger and better films.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/21/1997
UPC:
0026359121432
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
NR
Source:
Hbo Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Chris O'Donnell Jack Foley
Minnie Driver Bernadette "Bennie"
Geraldine O'Rawe Eve
Saffron Burrows Nan
Alan Cumming Sean
Colin Firth Simon Westward
Jason Barry Nasey Mahon
Marie Conmee Mrs Healey
Brendan Conroy Priest
Ingrid Craigie Celia Westward
Pauline Delaney Big House Maid
Tony Doyle Dr. Foley
Seamus Ford Parish Priest
Aidan Gillen Aidan
Tom Hickey Professor Maclure
Ciarán Hinds Professor Flynn
John Kavanagh Brian Mahon
Phil Kelly Hiberian Waiter
Mick Lally Dan Hogan
Ruth McCabe Emily Mahon
Sean McGinley Mr Duggan
Marie Mullen Mrs Foley
Britta Smith Mrs Hogan
Gerry Walsh Mr Flood

Technical Credits
Pat O'Connor Director
Kenneth MacMillan Cinematographer
Jim Clay Production Designer
Terence A. Clegg Executive Producer
Andrew Davies Screenwriter
John Jympson Editor
Michael Kamen Score Composer,Songwriter
Anushia Nieradzik Costumes/Costume Designer
Frank Price Producer
Chris Seagers Art Director
Arlene Sellers Producer
Kenith Trodd Co-producer
Alex Winitsky Producer
Mary Selway Casting
Simone Ireland Casting
Judy Farr Set Decoration/Design
Maeve Binchy Source Author

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