This is a beautifully told tale about a man’s search to learn about the life of the father he never knew. James Caan gives a solid performance as an American high school teacher seeking his roots in Ireland. Returning to his ailing mother’s former hometown, he uncovers a decades-old tale of tragic romance.
Aidan Quinn gives one the better, more understated performances of his career as Kieran O’Day, a simple but passionate farmer. Newcomer Moya Farrelly is spirited as O’Day’s true love.
The film was a remarkable collaboration between the three Quinn brothers; Aidan in the lead role, Paul as director, and Declan as cinematographer. The story unfolds like a 1930’s “Romeo & Juliet,” and is packed with exquisite period detail. Declan (who previously shot “Leaving Las Vegas”) lensed the film with almost exclusively natural light, and its look brilliantly portrays the Irish landscape as its own darkly melancholic character. Although Paul’s background is in theater, his first directorial effort on film portends a magnificent career in cinema.