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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “The Butcher Boy”

(Warner Home Video. Color. Widescreen. 1997/2007. 1 Disc. 111 minutes. Rated R.) Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Eamonn Owens, Sinead O’Connor. Directed by Neil Jordan. Music by Elliot Goldenthal.


Based on a novel by Patrick McCabe, the story centers on Francie Grady, a young boy from a dysfunctional household (mom’s manic/depressive and suicidal; dad’s a drunkard) in lower-middle-class Ireland in 1962. As the family’s troubles mount, Francie becomes more lonely and paranoid, blaming his problems on Mrs. Nugent and her son, and eventually turns to violence. While the setup sounds interesting, the execution is woefully lacking. Described as a dark comedy, the movie’s dark but there’s nothing particularly funny about it. Well, hearing Sinead O’Connor curse while playing the Virgin Mary (with hair!) was kind of neat. Director Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire, Mona Lisa) tries to elicit some sympathy for Francie later in the film, but by that time I had already written him off as an Irish Eddie Haskell. It’s technically well-made, with Owens quite good in his debut performance, but overall it just didn’t mesh. Special features are sparse, with a commentary track by Jordan, the theatrical trailer and a whole 3 deleted scenes. I really can’t recommend it.

Jared Counts

Jared Counts he/him

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in February 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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