Did Anyone Have A Better Movie Year Than Colin Farrell In 2022?

And then there’s “The Banshees of Inisherin,” and the performance that’s spelling out Oscar buzz for Farrell. The actor reunites with “In Bruges” co-star Brendan Gleeson — as well as their director, Martin McDonagh — for a darkly funny, deeply devastating break-up film. Farrell is Pádraic, a very nice (if not slightly dull) man whose lifelong friendship with Colm (Gleeson) suddenly breaks down. Colm no longer wants to speak to Pádraic, no longer wants to be friends at all, and naturally, Pádraic can’t understand why. Their falling out turns their small island town on its head, forcing everyone to consider just what it is they’re doing with the time they have left in the world.

“Banshees” is an unmistakable master class, delivering laughter, tears, and existential angst on just about every level. Gleeson’s turn as Colm is a career best: he offers dignity and reverie to a character that’d be easy to write off as a navel-gazing meanie. But as Pádraic, Farrell unleashes yet another layered, vulnerable performance that could very well be his greatest yet. Colm’s rejection sends him adrift and desperate, at times bringing out the worst in him. It’s devastating to watch him reckon with one change after the next, to watch his whole world spiral into something totally unrecognizable.

Through Pádraic, McDonagh seems to be confronting the nebulous, annihilating pressure of time. It’s not an easy concept to contextualize, but Farrell faces the abyss all the same. The residents of Inisherin, Colm especially, give a lot of thought to whether they’ll be remembered after they’re gone. Pádraic, for all his niceness and simplicity, may not be — but it’s very possible that we’ll be talking about Farrell’s performance for many years to come.

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