Tony Award-nominated writer/director Conor McPherson's latest is an exquisite and life-affirming atmospheric drama about the redemptive quality of love. Amid lush hills and crumbling stone abbeys, the soggy waterside town of Cobh plays host to a chaotic annual literary festival. Widower Michael (Ciarán Hinds, Munich) has been adjusting to his new role as the sole caretaker of his two young kids. When he volunteers as a handler at the festival, chance finds him driving supernatural-fiction writer Lena (Iben Hjejle, High Fidelity). He becomes drawn to her but finds himself competing for her attentions with internationally acclaimed author Nicholas (Aidan Quinn), also in town to plug his latest best seller and reclaim the girl he can't get out of his head.
Cowriting the screenplay with Irish playwright Billy Roche, McPherson has crafted a film that engages the viewer with his attention to detail. His precise direction, coupled with the dynamic cinematography of Ivan McCullough, quietly evokes the emotion underlying every scene. McPherson's special rapport with actors is evident on-screen as the three leads deliver penetrating performances. Hinds in particular reflects the film's masterful use of subtleties—his simmering presence builds with the delicate unfolding of this unique and compelling story.