The Banshees of Inisherin review: “A smart, funny In Bruges reunion”

In the interest of managing expectations it should be noted that The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to 2017 awards darling Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, does not feature any shrieking spirits of Irish folklore. Instead, it’s another acerbic, dangerous, darkly amusing, and heartbreakingly sad character drama from a modern master of shifting tones.

Something of an In Bruges reunion, the film reunites McDonagh with his debut’s two leads, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. It’s set in 1923 on Inisherin, a fictional island off Ireland’s west coast. Farrell’s Pádraic is “one of life’s good guys”: the caring brother of Kerry Condon’s sophisticated Siobhan, dutiful keeper of several farmyard animals and best friends with Gleeson’s more cultured Colm.

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