In 2006, Northern Ireland's bloody Troubles had dragged on for decades. Now with the growing threat of a new generation inspired by the 9/11 attacks to escalate the conflict to new levels of destruction, both the Catholic Republican and the Protestant Unionist sides are finally persuaded to seriously explore a peace agreement at UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's urging. Unfortunately, the principle negotiators, firebrand Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness, are decades-long implacable enemies. However with talks about to start, Paisley has his wedding anniversary that he is determined to attend at home, and McGuinness decides he must accompany his enemy to prevent him from being persuaded to abandon this chance for peace. With the Prime Minister and his MI-5 staff nervously watching from secret cameras, the two foes undertake a journey together in which they bridge the seemingly unbridgeable and change the course of history. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
In the church scene, in a wood block there is an empty Smirnoff vodka bottle for which there is no reference in the dialogue. Why did the Director leave it, so obvious in the middle of the scene? See more »
Sometimes history boils down to a handshake between two politicians
The Journey (2016/III) was directed by Nick Hamm. It's based on the historical fact that in 2006 the Northern Ireland peace talks established a compromise solution that did, indeed, bring peace to Northern Ireland. This peace pact ended 40 years of terror and violence in that country. Again, historically, the Irish Catholic leader Martin McGuiness and the Irish Protestant Leader Ian Paisley came to an agreement that allowed peace to be established. This film represents an attempt to comprehend how this agreement came about.
In a situation like this, a movie will rise or fall depending on the acting abilities of the two leads. No problem here, because director Hamm had two brilliant actors to work with: Colm Meaney as Martin McGuinness and Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley. I think it's worth seeing the movie just to watch them act.
For me, this was an extraordinary movie. I don't know enough about the history of Northern Ireland to know how accurate or realistic the dialog was. I know enough about movies to know that two brilliant leads can produce a magical moment if they know how to act, and how to interact. That's what happened in The Journey.
We saw this movie in Rochester's excellent Little Theatre. It will work well on the small screen. The Journey had a terrible IMDb rating of 6.2. That's the weighted average, but the median is 7.0. Most raters liked the film, and some loved it. However, a significant minority hated the movie, and gave it a rating of 1. (One of the people who rated it 1 has also written a review, and I suggest you check it out.)
I noticed the same rating situation with the film Selma, although the average rating was much higher. I think that probably many films about controversial subjects will have people who hate those movies. In those cases, I check the median rating, which I believe gives a more accurate reflection of what most people thought about the movie.
In my opinion, this is a definitely a film worth seeing, and I recommend it.
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