John Michael McDonagh, noted screenwriter (Ned Kelly) and brother to playwright Martin McDonagh, makes his directorial debut today with the action-comedy The Guard. On surface, The Guard could easily be viewed as just a fun-rollicking buddy action comedy but delving deeper the film ably tackles issues of xenophobia – in particular: how a little joshing around can affix seemingly unbridgeable cultural divides. Each character within the film is quick to decry and mock another’s nationality, ethnicity, appearance, accent, language… But instead of becoming a source of tension between characters, these insults unite and at times help bond the wayward inhabits of County Galway. See the burgeoning friendship of Brendan Gleeson’s fiercely Irish Sgt. Boyle and Don Cheadle’s city-boy American Agent Everett as proof.
In the following interview with McDonagh, he discusses developing The Guard for the big screen, basing the character of Sgt. Gerry Boyle on himself and tackling xenophobia in the film. For more on The Guard (opening in select cities today), see (i.e. click) on the previous interviews with Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson. For McDonagh’s full interview, hit the jump.
Sony Pictures Classics has released the domestic trailer for John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard. A couple weeks ago, we showed you the international trailer for the film and at the time I speculated that the US trailer would dial back the racial humor. But it actually included more! Hooray! This new trailer does a good job of delivering laughs and hopefully it will entice people to check out this solid small flick that features a winning performance from Brendan Gleeson.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The Guard opens in limited release on July 29th.
An international trailer for John Michael McDonagh’s comedy-crime flick The Guard has gone online. I caught the film at Sundance and thought it was a lot of fun with a must-see starring performance from Brendan Gleeson. The story centers on a cop (Gleeson) in Ireland who ends up assisting an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) in his hunt for drug traffickers. What makes Gleeson’s performance so great is that he keeps you guessing as to his character’s intelligence while keeping the character’s indifference towards what other people think of him. This trailer hints at that and I doubt the American trailer will include Gleeson’s remark “I thought only blacks lads were drug dealers. And Mexicans.”
Click over to RTE Ten to check out the trailer [via The Playlist]. We’ll have an embeddable version as soon as its available. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the US and Latin American distribution rights to the film, but no US release date has been announced.
If you don’t know who Brendan Gleeson is, then you’re missing out. You may be a perfectly nice person and I’m not asking you to know every actor, but John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard is yet more proof that it’s time for Gleeson to become a guy you recognize based off name alone. Not “Mad-Eye Moody”. Not “Colin Farrell’s friend in In Bruges.” Not “the kind father in 28 Days Later.” Not “One of the bad guys in Troy.” (Although that last one is simply because no one should use Troy as a frame of reference for anything). People need to know that Gleeson is one of the finest actors today and if they go see The Guard, they’ll understand why. The plot relies a little too heavily on coincidence, but it’s a fun flick filled with sharp dialogue, an aggressive style, and yet another phenomenal performance from Gleeson.
About a week ago, I got to speak to an actor whose work I really admire: Mark Strong (IMDb resume). While many of you might not know his name, if you ever saw Body of Lies, he played a character named Hani Salaam and he was the best performance in the film. Since then, Strong has booked a ton of very high profile gigs in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies. Clearly people noticed his work and as a fan, I’m excited to see him in more movies.
Anyway, the reason I got to speak with him is he plays the villainous Lord Blackwood in director Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. During out conversation we discussed the promotional process for Sherlock Holmes and what he’s had to do, working for Guy Ritchie again, what he did to prepare for the role, and so much more.
And for fans of Peter Weir, since Strong is in Weir’s latest film The Way Back, he talked about making that film and why he wanted to be in it. He also talked about John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard and Kevin McDonald’s Eagle of the Ninth.
Trust me, it’s a fantastic interview that’s well worth your time. Hit the jump to read it.