Terry George

Brendan Fraser Whole Lotta Sole

If there’s a single moment that can let us 90% know Brendan Fraser, it’s one where he’s in the middle of a poignant discourse on professionally becoming another person in order to help share a story with the world when the cartoon sproing-sproing ringtone of his phone cuts through. The fact that it’s his children needing to be picked up from school on the other end probably brings us close to the last ten percent. “Hey, I got kids, and don’t tell anyone, but I still feel like one,” Fraser tells me, pinning the tail on a question about the sideways decisions of his career, the latest of which to see theaters is Stand Off . In the film from Terry George, Fraser plays Joe Maguire, a man who escapes a bad home situation by going to Belfast and running an antique store that eventually becomes the epicenter of the action promised in the movie’s title (a title that used to be Whole Lotta Sole). Maguire is a fish out of water trying to understand a deep, troubled Irish history in a lighthearted action dramedy from the director of Hotel Rwanda. Yes, your intuition is correct. This role is another delightful head-scratcher from an actor who has already been all over the map.

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The Shore

Watch Part 2 Why Watch? Last year, The Shore won the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film, and after seeing Terry George‘s work, it’s easy to see why. The Hotel Rwanda director, here returning to his usual tilt toward the Troubles in Northern Ireland, creates a fragile layer of drama where an ocean of familial tension lies frozen and threatening underneath. It’s heady, tough work, but it’s also surprisingly easy to watch because of the clean character portraits being created. Cirian Hinds and Conleth Hill (who fans of Game of Thrones will be happy to see) shine in stony roles as two childhood friends now grown who are reunited after a falling out during the Troubles sent them on separate journeys. Fortunately, everyone involved is wise enough to add some smiles into the sweet pain of alienation to remind us all what doing the difficult task is really worth. By the time Rio Bravo-style music paints the climactic near-silly chase through the mud, it’s clear that this short is a masterful blend of laughter and tears. What will it cost? Around 30 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

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