When the Sky Falls
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It would be difficult to choose between the two films. Allen and Blanchett are two of the best actresses in the business. The latter brought more effervescence - perhaps too much - to the role. The former ratchets the glamour of the Guerin persona down a notch to a more credible level. Indeed, for the purpose of the story, Allen takes on a fictional identity - Sinead Hamilton.
Key events in the efforts by Guerin/Hamilton to expose those behind Dublin's illegal drug traffic are common to both productions: the invasion of Guerin's home by a pistol wielding thug who shot her in the leg as a warning, her beating by the mobster John Gilligan - here named "Dave Hackett" (Gerard Flynn), and her fatal shooting by a couple of motorcycle riders while her cherry red sports car was stationary at a stoplight. WHEN THE SKY FALLS places greater emphasis on the emotional support provided by her husband, here played by Kevin McNally, while VERONICA GUERIN is a bit grittier in its depiction of heroin's effects on young addicts. Both movies provide an unsparing look at the violence employed by those controlling the drug trade, both show the importance of criminal informants to Guerin's/Hamilton's information gathering, and both portray the uneasy but ultimately symbiotic relationship the reporter had with local law enforcement.
If I was forced to pick my favorite of the two films, I guess I'd have to go with VERONICA GUERIN simply because I'm so smitten with Cate Blanchett. But both are eminently watchable, and both are a tribute to the quixotic bravery of the woman who paid the ultimate price.
Before her murder Veronica Guerin was collaborating with writing Michael Sheriden on early drafts of the screenplay. The idea was to tell a realistic story about the Dublin criminal underworld and at some point it became obvious that the story should be about a crime correspondent investigating the story; in other words, a character modeled on Guerin. However, the reporter insisted that her name not be used and even when she was murdered and the story of "When the Sky Falls" became her story, director John MacKenzie respected her wishes and kept the name change. The film was supposed to end with the reporter being honored for blowing the lid of the drug lords, but when Guerin was murdered the story by screenwriters Michael Sheridan and Ronan Gallagher changed to not only end with her death but explain why the mother of a young boy continued to investigate and write stories any being shot and repeatedly threatened.
The story is about a journalist doing writing exposés on the Dublin drug trade. One of her key sources, Mickey O'Fagan (Jimmy Smallhorne) is not to be trusted and Mackey (Patrick Bergin), the cop in charge of the investigation, is more than willing to break the rules to bring down the drug lord Dave Hackett (Gerard Flynn).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Joan Allen. However, I like the movie "Victoria Guerin" much more. If I had only seen When the Sky Falls, I would consider it a great movie.Published 21 months ago by Peggy S. Lonf
This movie was full of information, based on the story which I believe really happened. It was well done and writtenPublished 23 months ago by Maria B.
The movie was as good if not better than the other adaptation of the Veronica Guerrin story. This film introduced fictional character names, and several events varied between the... Read morePublished on October 13, 2011 by RII