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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Rory Connolly, David Murray, Eric Lalor, Lacy Moore
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Cian McGarrigle
RUNNING TIME
18 Mins.
 "No Messages" an Appealing Slice-Of-Life  
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I've occasionally come under the impression that it's damn near impossible to not completely love anything that comes out of Ireland, whether that be a full-length feature, The Frames or even every short that seems to cross my desk.

Okay, so that's probably an exaggeration. However, there's something about the Irish culture that just looks damn fine on film and writer/director Cian McGarrigle captures it almost perfectly in No Mistakes, a funny and strangely sweet comedy short about Dave (Rory Connolly), a beleaguered Irish barman who spends an entire day waiting on an important call while serving all sorts of oddsters and quirky bar patrons such as a rather unique chap they call The Cock (Eric Lalor) and also dealing with his hungover boss, Simon (David Murray), and others along the way.

Everything about No Messages works, from McGarrigle's spot-on story to his perfectly chosen cast. No Messages is already finding quite a bit of success on the film festival circuit with screenings at Ireland's Galway Film Fleadh and Underground Film Festival, Cambridge Film Festival and the New York City International Film Festival. The film picked up 5 nominations at Ireland's Underground Cinema Awards taking place in Dublin this month including Best Film, Best Director, Best Script, Best Editor and Best Actor (Murray). Kudos to Underground for being able to single out a performance, because for my money that's nearly impossible with a top notch ensemble cast that turns this bar into the kind of place you want to visit the second you step off the plane in Ireland.

Murray is definitely terrific as the hungover boss, though Connolly is equally good as the young man who exudes both a weary cynicism and just the right hint of sentimentality. Eric Lalor's a hoot as The Cock, while Lacy Moore leaves a lasting impression as Veronica.

Colm Whelan's cinematography nicely captures that urban Irish feel. The only thing missing, at least for us Americans who only get what the media shows us, is that busker on the street corner crooning away. The film's original music is also stellar, while the entire package makes you wish you could spend a heck of a lot more than eighteen minutes with these characters and this story.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
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