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This Year’s Saddest Movie About Friendship Is Getting Awards Buzz and Rightfully So

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in the Banshees of Inisherin

Ever wish that Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson played two friends who maybe hated one another? Well, I present to you The Banshees of Inisherin. The movie is a reunion for the both of them with writer and director Martin McDonagh (who worked with the duo on In Bruges), and what’s so incredible about The Banshees of Inisherin is that, on paper, this movie wouldn’t seem like anything spectacular, but it is getting award season buzz for a reason. It’s incredible.

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The movie is set in Ireland and takes us on the journey through Pádraic’s (Colin Farrell) friendship with Colm (Brendan Gleeson)—or, more aptly, the destruction of it. When Colm suddenly decides that he’s no longer friends with Pádraic, it then lies on Pádraic’s shoulders to come to terms with the fact that his friend no longer wants to talk with him about anything.

Throughout most of the movie, you understand both sides of the coin. Colm just wants to focus on his music and be free of the “bore” he finds Pádraic to be, and Pádraic is just confused as to why his friend is suddenly changing his tune in how he’s talking to him.

Pair the pain that Pádraic is going through with the humor of how extreme Colm is with their “breakup” and it is a shining moment in McDonagh’s work. It’s hilarious and quick, but it is also a movie that will stay with you.

Friendship breakups hurt

At the core of the movie, outside of Colm’s determination to get away from Pádraic, is a friendship breakup, and that often hurts more than any romantic breakup. Friends know you inside and out; they know how you think and what you’re feeling just by looking at you, and they often know exactly what your significant other does because you tell them everything. The difference with The Banshees of Inisherin is that Pádraic and Colm really only have each other.

They don’t have families, but we see throughout the movie that Colm has his music and those he plays with, and Pádraic has his sister, but they really had been spending all their free time together, and while their separation gives Colm what he wantes, it has made Pádraic the odd man out.

The movie goes through the typical extremes that happen in a McDonagh story (think about the absolute outrageous moments in In Bruges, and that sort of applies here), but it is also just a soft story about loss. Pádraic is a man who just loves talking to his animals and going to the pub, and while Colm wants something more out of his life, he puts that burden on his friendship instead of working it out on his own, and it does leave you feeling badly for Farrell’s Pádraic, who just continues to get hurt because of what Colm wants.

The story is one that might hurt you if you lost a friend, but it is also a look into what being there for each other actually means, and Colm goes about it all in the wrong way, but in the end, Pádraic is the one who makes the choice.

The Banshees of Inisherin is a must-see.

(featured image: Searchlight Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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