Ken Loach’s informal follow-up of sorts to Loach's 2006 Palme d'Or winner, ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’ is the Palm d’Or nominated ‘Jimmy’s Hall’, another story of community facing adversity against an oppressor, this time in the guise of the church.
Based on the life radical Jimmy Gralton whose involvement with Irish Republican causes has made him a target for the establishment.
He has returned to his native farm in rural Country Leitrim in the early 1930s after a decade in the United States and sets about resurrecting the community hall where boxing, art and dancing to jazz are enjoyed…
Loach is a radical spirited yet does really have a great touch for the human condition and observing relationships. This slice of social realism is full of warmth and a wonderful range of emotions, from joy to sadness in a masterly brush stroke.
The script, again by regular collaborator Paul Laverty and based on a play by Donal O’Kelly, allows for galvanizing speeches as well as hushed romantic moments in what is essentially a tense, claustrophobic group. In part this is a film about socialism, how it manifests in society and how it’s perceived by its cynics.
This is Loach at his most laid-back as he examines personal freedoms in a closed political system with aplomb. A really lovely film…