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There were wild cheers for Searchlight’s The Banshees of Inisherin — which also marks McDonagh’s first feature since his Venice-bowing and awards conquering Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — even before it had started, but the standing ovation at the end lasted for well over 12 minutes, a festival best so far.
McDonagh, Gleeson, Farrell and co-star Kerry Condon kept the applause going by venturing down into the crowd in the Salle Grande to shake hands and sign autographs.
Also in attendance were McDonagh’s partner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Regé-Jean Page and Steve Buscemi.
Another black comedy from the noted British-Irish playwrite and filmmaker, The Banshees of Inisherin is set in 1923 on the island of Inisherin, and follows two friends Padraic and Colm who find themselves at an impasse when Colm abruptly and unexpectedly calls time on their friendship, stunning Padriac who endeavours to repair the relationship.
Speaking earlier in the day at the film’s press conference, Farrell remarked on the welcome reunion with McDonagh.
“I can’t imagine ever passing on anything he writes, because he’s such an extraordinary writer and I’m always so deeply moved emotionally and psychologically by the worlds he creates and the characters that he designs,” he said.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McDonagh described The Banshees of Inisherin as a “simple sad breakup story between two blokes,” and added that one of the main reasons for writing it was get Farrell and Gleeson back together. “I’ve stayed friends with them since [In Bruges] and was always hoping no one else would work with them as a pairing.”
Following its world premiere in Venice, Banshees is heading to the Toronto Film Festival and is scheduled for a limited release on Oct. 21.
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