The Guard

Where do I begin? Praise is bubbling out of me about every aspect of this film, from the location and the actors, to the script and the dialogue. I will own the DVD so I can use closed captions because some of the brogue escaped me, but what I heard was erudite, wry and very, very funny.

Here is part of the wonderful cast:
  • Brendan Gleeson ("Troy" and "Harry Potter") is our eponymous Guard, a local policeman whose job it is to cope with trivial issues in his little seaside hamlet. He pays more attention to his regularly scheduled visits from prostitutes than rumors of a half-billion pounds worth of drugs. Remembering Gleeson's astonishing single-take monologue from "In Bruges," I already knew he was a great dramatic actor, I just don't remember him in a comedy before.
  • Don Cheadle ("Iron Man 2") is a tightly wound American FBI agent hot on the trail of a huge cocaine shipment rumored to be headed toward Ireland. He is dumbfounded by the provincialism and blatant racism he encounters in this little burg. Hard-working Cheadle appears in family films, comedies and dramas; he always does a terrific job.
  • Fionnula Flanagan ("Kill the Irishman") is our hero's mother, dying of cancer, who just wants to see live music performed one more time. You'll smile. Another multi-talented star, this lovely lass has been working for decades.
  • Mark Strong ("Sherlock Holmes") is a cocaine smuggler/hench- man, who is starting to question if the payoff is worth it. In this cast of multiple threats, Strong stands out: He has played supporting roles in so many A-listed films, I can't begin to name them! Suffice it to say, he plays many nationalities, plays good guys (but mostly bad guys), and shows up in movies all over the world.
The Irish locations are authentic, unique and memorable, while the dialogue is delicious. The characters are unusual: the drug dealers engage in cerebral chats, e.g., how many well-known poets were born in Wales. Naturally the local folks are rustic eccentrics. I'm always surprised when I'm reminded how familiar many Europeans are with American history, e.g. the kind of derringer used to assassinate Abraham Lincoln.

Expect profanity, gunshots and some blowie uppie stuff. Brush up your Irish dialect and DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE! By the way, I'm not alone in this assessment: Leonard Maltin thinks this is "the movie of the summer!"

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Here is a link to a preview:
* * * * * * * * * * * *