The Shore (2011)
84th Academy Awards 2012
Nominated for 1 award, which it won.
Won Best Live Action Short (Terry George, Oorlargh George).
Watched October 19, 2012.
Unlike many of the critics, and the Academy itself, I was not such a fan of The Shore, particularly after seeing Raju last week. The imagery of the film is absolutely breathtaking, but the script and acting were fairly lacking in comparison.
Joe (Ciarán Hinds) has been living in the States for the last twenty-five years and has not been back to Ireland since “the trouble.” He finally brings his grown daughter back with him after his wife passes away. Everyone is incredibly pleased to see him, but it is soon revealed that his daughter Patricia (Kerry Condon) doesn’t know much about her father’s past, like the fact that he was in a band, or that he hasn’t spoken to his best friend since he moved away.
The story with Joe and his daughter is so slow moving and dialogue driven that it throws off the pace of the entire short. Condon’s acting doesn’t help the situation. Joe tells the whole story of how he lost his best friend, Paddy, and how his secret ex-fiancé is now married to his ex-best friend. Patricia then convinces him that he should visit Paddy and set things right.
My favourite aspect of the film (I prove that I am a huge romantic, yet again) was the relationship between Paddy (Conleth Hill) and his wife Mary (Maggie Cronin). There is no doubt that they have an amazing amount of passion in their marriage. Their chemistry is out of this world, which in turn casts a blinding light on the lack of chemistry between Hinds and Condon.
The Shore is a half-hearted comedy and a half-hearted drama–it never successfully scores in either direction. The timing is off, most of the characters have little depth, and the lines are so transparent, it’s a wonder the actors could pull anything remotely Oscar worthy out of Terry George’s winning piece.
If your opinions tend to be more in line with the Academy when it comes to shorts, or if you would like to catch a glimpse of Ireland’s beauty (which is expertly captured, might I add), then by all means you should search out this film. Otherwise, I would not recommend it.