Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Boys & Girl From County Clare

(Ireland/UK/Germany, 2003)

The box just said “The boys …” but the movie started with the title above, so I’m going with that one. In the UK it was released as The Great Ceili War. Ceili is a type of Irish music.
Two brothers who haven’t seen each other for 20 years bring competing bands to the Isle of Man for a competition. They have issues going way back. Who will win? It doesn’t really matter. Movies about people who feel passionately about what they’re doing have an edge with me from frame one, especially if that passion is music … or dance, too, I guess. Hell, almost anything, even if I don’t care for it myself. And I’m not too much for Irish music except the jazzed-up variety like Riverdance, which these people would hate … but the music isn’t the problem, it’s the clichéd story. Nothing is a surprise, everything is by the book. In fact, only the music kept me going. If you want to see a good movie about musical competition, try Brassed Off … unless you hate brass band music.