This little-seen 2018 Irish movie with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes score is on TV tonight
The Tom Vaughan-Lawlor starring film was released in cinemas just a few months ago.
So it is somewhat understandable that one of his projects might get unfairly passed over, which is exactly what happened with Citizen Lane, a fantastic Irish movie that was released here in May this year but failed to get the audience it deserved.
Hopefully, that is corrected with the Irish TV premiere on Wednesday night; the movie is pretty ingenious in how it intercuts a documentary about Hugh Lane with scripted scenes featuring Vaughan-Lawlor in the lead role.
The film is set in Dublin in the early years of the 20th century - a time of political foment and the forging of a new Irish cultural identity. It tells the story of Hugh Lane's hard-fought project to establish a public modern art gallery, showing the work of living artists, his untimely death on the Lusitania and his contested will.
It is a story that continues in the here and now, as Citizen Lane plays its part in the long-running, still charged campaign to recover Lane's Bequest of 39 'Continental' paintings, including masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Manet and Pissarro, for Ireland.
In a narrative intercut with scripted drama, acted by a distinguished cast including Lawlor and Michael Gambon, a series of 'character interviews' with Lane's friends and family develops a story richly illustrated with the paintings now hanging in the gallery founded by Lane, one of the greatest benefactors of the arts in Ireland.
Here's just a taster of the reviews it received:
"One of the brilliant things a well-made documentary can do is distill a complex yarn into an 80-minute digestible shape, and this story is complicated." - Sunday Times
"Working from Mark O'Halloran's fiendishly clever script, the December Bride director and dexterous editor Mick Mahon have fashioned a project as elegant as its subject." - Irish Times
"O'Sullivan's film provides a real insight into Hugh Lane's life and legacy, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor's performance catches a fascinating, warm, arrogant but overwhelmingly generous man." - Irish Independent
"Essential viewing for anyone seeking a better understanding of [Ireland's] complex capital city." - Sunday Independent
Citizen Lane is on RTE One tonight (Wednesday 5 September) at 9.35pm, check out the trailer right here:
Clip via EclipsePicturesIE