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I’ve never made a secret that Ciaran Hinds is my favorite of the actors who have portrayed an Austen hero. I have also cringed when I thought he took a scene w-a-y over the top acting wise. Well, Hinds has redeemed himself with The Eclipse.
The Eclipse is a ghost story that doesn’t focus on ghosts. That’s why I thought it would be a good movie for those of us that don’t care about Halloween. It’s a bit of the spirit of the season without really being so.
The story centers on Michael Farr. A father, teacher, closet writer, and recent widower who has started to see and hear strange things around the house. One of the things I liked about the story was that this is the story of a family learning to live with the loss of its mother. But, the dad hasn’t crawled into a bottle, the 14 year-old daughter is not shoving a needle in her arm, and the 11 year-old has not gone Goth. They are just a middle-class Irish family learning to cope.
The background of the story is a writer’s conference that Michael has taken part in for over ten years. He is tasked with driving author Lena Morrelle, played by Iben Hjejle. She has written a popular book featuring ghosts, but is afraid of the dark, and has trouble working door keys. (I like her because I’ve slept my fair share of nights with the lights on and I never seem to put a key in its lock correctly.) She and Michael connect on an intellectual level first and eventually on a more personal one.
The third interesting element of the story is the American writer, Nicholas Holden (Aidan Quinn) who despite having a wife, is pursuing Lena romantically. One scene worth seeing is a fist fight between Quinn and Hinds. Two middle-aged guys wrasslin’ is always a treat to see! 😉
A location used in the movie The Eclipse
The scenery in The Eclipse is beautiful. The town of Cobh (pronounced kohv) is on the southern coast of Ireland and fits wonderfully the languid pace of the film.
Again, I have said in the past that Ciaran Hinds can overact dreadfully, but in this film where he has quite a few opportunities to chew the scenery, he handles himself with great control, making you sympathize with the character rather than wonder what was on his mind!
I found a used copy from Hastings for under $5 including S&H, so think about watching The Eclipse.
Fair warning: This is an Irish film and there is a fair amount of effing this and effing that. And the Lord’s name gets a workout. It’s rated R but that must be for the language as everyone stays clothed and there’s not anything in the way of lewd behavior. Ah, there is a bloody suicide but it’s the aftermath and not the actual event.
Take care–Susan Kaye