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Movies & TV

21st Mar 2023

God’s Creatures is the ultimate Irish Mammy movie

Rory Cashin

Paul Mescal

For better or for worse, a lot of Irish mothers and sons will recognise these characters from their own lives.

God’s Creatures sees Paul Mescal hit the self-destruct button on his on-screen likability. After the one-two-three punch of ‘Sort of heartbroken, I can help fix him?’ folk he played in of Normal People, The Lost Daughter and Aftersun, his new movie takes audiences on a new character journey with him.

Having worked in Australia for a number of years, Brian (Mescal) returns home to his small, sea-front fishing village, to the absolute joy of his mother Aileen (Emily Watson). However, he is barely back a few days before he becomes the primary suspect in the sexual assault of a local woman.

When the police come questioning, Aileen immediately lies and gives the police a fake alibi for her son, and that is that, the case is immediately dropped. But as more time goes by and Aileen spends more time in the company of her son, she begins to suspect that Brian may actually be guilty of the crime, and potentially a whole lot more.

In the run-up to the movie’s release, we sat down with Paul Mescal and Emily Watson to discuss it at length:

We previously covered how Paul and Emily discussed the movie’s massive importance for modern audiences, but when we put to them the question about the ideology and specificity of “Irish Mammys” in this movie, Watson whole-heartedly agreed:

“I think something that comes through on this, something that is really specific to [Ireland], is that if your mum gives you an alibi, then that’s the end of the story. I don’t know if that translates everywhere else, but I think the intensity and the weirdness and the offness of this relationship, it happens the world over. It is a Greek tragedy in the making, the way they relate to each other.”

Additionally, Watson weighs in on the strong religious aspect of the movie, saying:

“Every frame in this movie has some kind of religious iconography in it, and you have this very Catholic community, this church-going community, who all go to the blessing of the boats. They close ranks to protect a rapist… what is wrong with this picture?”

God’s Creatures arrives in Irish cinemas on Friday, 24 March.

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