CATEGORIES Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, Oscar Watch, Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematical Indie, Toronto Film Festival, Oscar News, CinematicalWhenever I see Colm Meaney in anything, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling. It may be the Irish in me coming out -- Meaney was born in Dublin, Ireland -- but it's more likely a residue of his role as Chief Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He instantly came across as dignified yet combustible. If he'd been born 50 years earlier, he would have been an ideal supporting character in a ton of classic Hollywood movies. Eventually I discovered some of his earlier work (The Commitments and The Snapper, to name two good ones) and grew to appreciate his rich dramatic abilities. I imagine that those dramatic abilities are on full display in Kings, which has been submitted by Ireland as their official entrant in the race for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards, according to Variety.
Kings is based on the play The Kings of Kilburn Road by Irish playwright Jimmy Murphy; industry vet Tom Collins wrote the script and directed. The premise is that six men left Ireland for London in search of their fortune. Thirty years have passed with none of their dreams being realized, a point driven home when one of the group dies and the others reunite for his wake. Reviewing the film earlier this year, Jay Weissberg of Variety wrote: "Though unable to completely shed its theatrical origins, Tom Collins' Kings offers a trenchant look at the recent Irish immigrant experience." Weissberg noted that the film is the first bilingual picture produced in Ireland, with the cast speaking a mixture of Irish Gaelic and English.
The film had its first public screening at TIFF on Wednesday night; it plays again on Friday morning, September 14. Kings is also scheduled to screen at the Director's Guild of America Theatre in Los Angeles on Friday, September 28, as part of the Directors Finders Series 2007. The latter screening is intended as a showcase for American distributors.