Monday 5 December 2016

'Jimmy's Hall' is a fine film but Irish society wasn't as black and white as Loach depicts

Published 02/06/2014 | 02:30

Barry Ward, Ken Loach, Aisling Franciosi and Paul Laverty. Photo: Getty Images
Barry Ward, Ken Loach, Aisling Franciosi and Paul Laverty. Photo: Getty Images
Jim Norton

That fine actor, Jim Norton, seems to have cornered the market in playing obnoxious Catholic priests – it all started, presumably, with his bravura performance as the bullying Bishop Brennan in 'Father Ted' – and he has since played priests in several movies. And God willing (ironically) Mr Norton (76) still has a long career ahead of him as movies and TV storylines provide continuing narratives about odious clergy.

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Catholic priests are increasingly taking over the stock villain role that has so successfully been monopolised by Nazis over the past decades. From 'Quirke' to 'Jimmy's Hall', the clergy are the new nasties.

Jim Norton does it all quite superbly in the just-released Ken Loach movie, 'Jimmy's Hall', which has been rightly praised for its visual lyricism and for Barry Ward's fabulous looks.

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