Director: John Irvin
Writer: Nicholas Adams
Stars: Bernard Hill, Charlotte Bradley, Andrea Corr, Stephen Brennan, Eamonn Owens
Countries: Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany
It’s the mid 1960s. With a long tradition of Irish music in their blood, middle-aged John Joe McMahon and younger Jimmy McMahon, two of three brothers, grew up in County Clare, Ireland. They have long been estranged, their falling out over a woman. John Joe, still living in County Clare, has never married, while Jimmy, who long ago left County Clare to live in Liverpool, is on wife number five and probably counting. As fiddlers, they each lead their own ceili band, following those strict musical conventions in which they were raised. As such, Jimmy’s talented flautist, Teddy, exasperates him if only because of Teddy’s being musically influenced by, among others, The Beatles. John Joe’s band has won the best ceili band competition at the prestigious annual Irish music festival three years running. This year, Jimmy’s band will also be in attendance for the first time. John Joe and Jimmy do not want to see each other and do whatever they can to ensure the other does not make it to the festival. Theirs is not the only estrangement: John Joe’s pianist, Maisie, and Jimmy also broke up on bad terms, Maisie’s bitterness and resentment of men solely resting on Jimmy’s shoulders. Maisie raised her daughter Anne, a fiddler herself and arguably the best musician in John Joe’s band, as a single mother, trying to shield her from men, whom she sees as all being like Jimmy. Beyond the music competition itself, they will all have a fight on their hands when Teddy and Anne meet and start to fall for each other.