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One day, a very small traveling carnival arrives in the village. The carnival is so small all the members of the troupe perform multiple tasks. One of the troupe is played by Aiden Quinn. Quinn has a nifty motorcycle which he spins round and round the village green to impress Wright. Finney disapproves of Quinn's interest in Wright. When the carnival leaves the village, Quinn asks Wright to ride aways with him on his motorbike. Will she, should she? You'll have to watch the film to find out whether she chooses the good cop or the dashing young man, and you will discover the identity of the baby's father by the end of the film.
A story about secrets, love, fidelity, irony and small town life, "The Playboys" features a stunning performance by Alber Finney and likely the best film work of Aidan Quinn's career as they compete for unwed-but-pregnant Robin Wright, a young woman in a small Irish town that won't disclose the father of her child circa 1957.
While the film is not completely convincing in its representation of the 1950s (who knows what rural Ireland was like then?) it nonetheless remains an involving drama about people, circumstances, personal honor and what is important in life. Shane Connaughton's script plays the competition between the two men -- the standup cop Finney, representing good and irony, against actor-playboy Quinn, representing free spirits --against the overall conservatism and situational condemnation of village residents. The result is good fun and enticing cinema verite.
Filmed in Ireland, "The Playboys" is a wonderful movie that avoids nonsense and sentimentality, ends realistically, and asks the viewer what happenend when it's all over. It is a story on a lesser scale than some of the year's Oscar contenders; yet it stands up to all of them in terms of intelligence, viewer involvement, acting, onsite filming and the fulfilling the vision of its screenwriter. It's a film and story you won't soon forget.
The script is fairly complex (a subplot involving smuggling supplies to the IRA is also part of the proceedings), with a lot going on with the complicated relationships. Wright is seen as the strongest of the characters - fending for herself, knowing what she wants; the males are depicted as being weak: either blindly and hopelessly in love (Finney's desperation is wonderfully portrayed) or simply a means to an end for Wright. The acting is excellent throughout, and the storyline and direction are subtle and interesting. Worth a watch.
The movie, which is full of faces familiar from other Irish films, concerns one Tara Maguire, played by the American Robin Wright, who's been delivered of a boy child and refuses to identify his father. (This part was to have been played by Annette Bening, but she turned up pregnant.) Tara's sister Brigid, played by Niamh Cusack, of the well-known Irish theatrical family, is solidly supportive. Adrian Dunbar - has a modern Irish movie ever been made without him ?- plays a local farmer who kills himself, possibly over bad luck with his cattle, possibly because of Tara's refusal to marry him. She's also refusing to marry the older man, the local Constable, Brendan Hegarty, who, we come to learn, actually is the child's father. As played by an adamantine Albert Finney, he really is the spine of this slow, low-key, soft-focus film. For although the village priest is calling Tara out from the pulpit, the locals can't be too hard on her: they've known her from her own birth.
Into this pregnant situation comes a threadbare traveling troupe of actors, led by Freddie, the marvelously talented Milo O'Shea. Tom Casey, played by the American, handsome blue-eyed Aidan Quinn, is the leading man of their performances. Performances that are always eccentric, and frequently downright hilarious. And Tara, who rather unusually for the time and place, insists on marrying for love, sure loves Tom.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy Irish movies for some reason and Aidan Quinn wins me over with this one.Published 5 months ago by SillyPH
Everyone in this movie played their parts so well you forget you are watching a movie I could watch it over and over.Published 23 months ago by Geradine Dinardo
This arrived in German and with European coding. Totally useless to me. I have had no response to my refund request. Really angry and disappointed.Published on July 28, 2013 by N Duncan
The setting for "The Playboys" is an Irish farming village in 1957. Order is maintained equally by the Catholic Church and the local constabulary represented primarily by a moody... Read morePublished on October 28, 2012 by David E.Baldwin
I love Aidan Quinn and Robin Wright. What a beautiful movie. I can watch and fall in love with any movie that tells such a beautiful story and place it in Ireland and that is the... Read morePublished on October 4, 2012 by should have been born in the 1880's
This is one of my favorite movies. Aidan Quinn and Robin Wright have wonderful chemistry and if you like romance you can't help but enjoy it. Great date night movie!Published on June 3, 2010 by Kathleen
A beautiful story, acted similarly. It has a great ring of truth--growing up in the west of Ireland,I well remember the traveling performers who set up their tent on Monday and... Read morePublished on August 21, 2009 by Emmanuel S. Forde