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Waking Ned Devine

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Waking Ned Devine

Starring: Ian Bannen, David Kelly
Director: Kirk Jones
Rated: PG
RunTime: 91 Minutes
Release Date: November 1998
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Fionnula Flanagan, Susan Lynch, James Nesbitt

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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Every now and then, a movie reviewer discovers an absolute gem - and this is a sparkler! In the remote Irish village of Tulaigh Morh (pronounced Tullymore), population 52, someone holds a winning lottery ticket worth almost seven million pounds (more than $11 million) - but who can it be? That's the question that obsesses Jackie O'Shea (Ian Bannon), his wife Annie (Fionnula Flanagan) and their friend, Michael O'Sullivan (David Kelly). Determined to discover and befriend the lucky winner in order to share some of the prize money, they entice and ingratiate themselves to their 49 neighbors, including a malodorous pig farmer (James Nesbitt), his poetic lady love (Susan Lynch), and nasty Lizzy Quinn (Eileen Dromey). When they think they've canvassed everyone, they discover one man is missing: Ned Devine (Jimmy Keogh). And a search quickly determines he, indeed, is the winner - only, the sweet, old geezer has dropped dead from the shock of his good fortune. "They say money changes a man and there's no greater change than moving a man from life to death," they muse. So, what's a sod to do? Jackie and Michael slyly decide on a wee tad of fraud and a crazed bit of blarney, determining that one of them should impersonate Ned Devine and claim the winnings, which will then be equally divided among the villagers if everyone will go along with the crazy charade. Writer/director Kirk Jones cleverly creates quirky, charming, genuinely touching characters who embark on a wonderfully exuberant adventure. And some scenes - like the men's naked bicycle ride and re-arranging the corpse's facial expression - are truly laugh-out-loud funny. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Waking Ned Devine" is a whimsical, mischievous 8. Enjoy the fun and you'll feel like a winner!

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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