Dancing at Lughnasa

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(1998) ★★★★

Film4: Thursday 15 October, 4.55pm

The summer of 1936 as remembered by a young boy being brought up by unmarried mother Catherine McCormack and her four spinster sisters in a Donegal farmhouse. Strict schoolteacher Meryl Streep is the eldest,excited at the prospect of her brother’s homecoming after 25 years’missionary service in Africa.

He returns a broken man and all their lives will be changed by the events of that summer. A touching reminiscence beautifully performed by a terrific ensemble cast. The casting of the sisters was clearly crucial and it’s a triumph – both physically and emotionally, these actresses are absolutely plausible siblings.

No small feat when you consider that one of them is the splendid London actress Kathy Burke, excellent as always as the down-to-earth aunt. The marvellous Michael Gambon is memorable, too,as the dignified but enfeebled priest.

Certificate: PG
Duration: 91min

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