Raising A Parting Glass In Honor Of Today's Suggestion

A while back, I wrote about the fantastic use of the traditional Irish ballad, "The Parting Glass," in Waking Ned Devine, finishing with this semi-sorrowful note:

It still makes me weepy. Just a wee bit. And while it’s not available from any of the regular subscription services, it can be rented from a number of places. Hunt it down if you’ve got the time (and means). It’s good, good stuff.

Happily, that'a lie. Or at least it's no longer true. As of Tuesday, it is available on NETFLIX. (And on AMAZON PRIMEYOUTUBE($), and MORE($). Enjoy!)

When best friends Jackie O'Shea and Michael O'Sullivan discover someone in their small Irish village has won the lottery, they immediately set off to see if the winner is in a sharing mood. Deducing that Ned Devine is the lucky man, O'Shea and O'Sullivan pay him a visit, only to find him dead from shock. Since Devine is the only one who can claim the prize, the townsfolk band together to convince the claim inspector that O'Sullivan is really Devine, and split the cash.

It's touching and it's hilarious; it's insightful and disturbing. And often, it's all of those things at the exact same time. I'm not sure how the Irish do it, to be honest, though I suspect having the wonderful Ian Bannen and the even-more-wonderful David Kelly involved doesn't hurt.

I think Ebert says it best (unsurprisingly):

ost of the time we're smiling more than laughing; we recognize the human nature involved in "Waking Ned Devine," and we like the way Kirk Jones, the writer and director, throws up obstacles just to have fun leaping over them. One reason we like village comedies from Ireland and the U.K. is of course that they're funny. Another is to meet the characters and the actors and enjoy the pleasure of their company. I have a feeling that an evening spent with David Kelly would be a merry one.
Attribution(s): All posters, publicity images, and stills are the property of Fox Searchlight Pictures and other respective production studios and distributors.