Skip to content
Image: Nathan Denette

Brendan Gleeson defends Calvary director's controversial criticism of Irish film

“The standard of some Irish films is not good enough”.
Sep 25th 2014, 10:18 PM 3,408 0

IRISH ACTOR BRENDAN Gleeson has expressed his support of director John Michael McDonagh’s recent controversial comments about the Irish film industry.

Speaking on the John Murray Show, Gleeson said McDonagh was right to question the standards of Irish cinema, and that he agreed with some of his points.

Recently, The Guard director McDonagh came under fire after comments that when making a film in Ireland, “you’re trying to convince the Irish audience, no, it’s not like all those terrible Irish movies you’ve seen before”. Criticism of McDonagh mainly surrounded the recent €975,000 he received from the Irish Film Board to make Calvary, starring Gleeson.

But Gleeson said it’s important to remember that that money had been repaid in full.

He added, “The standard of some Irish films is not good enough. And I have to agree with him”. He went on to say that the ‘bigger issue’ is Irish people feeling like losers, saying “when that was publicised, the feeling was ‘you fools, you gave us money and now we’re going to spit on you’. I think it’s a real cancer in the way we’re running things here“.

Gleeson said that Irish people shouldn’t be too thin skinned, as there is no harm in upping standards–we shouldn’t be making “any old rubbish” and saying it’s great.

It’s not easy to make a masterpiece, you have to start by getting everything as good as you can. Some of the scripts that are allowed to go through, in my opinion, are not really fit for purpose. And we have to work about 6 times harder in this country to be able to make a film that will stand up. has reached out to the film board for comment.

Brendan Gleeson and his two sons are going to be in a play together>

Calvary the most successful Irish film this year, grossing €1.5m>

Send a tip to the author

Nicola Byrne


    Back to top