And 2 in 2022 for Kenneth Branagh!
As Death on the Nile – which opening has been delayed over and over again – is to open on February 9, 2022 in French movie theaters, movie director Kenneth Branagh delivers another movie, expected to open a month later. His “Belfast” drama movie is to be released on March 2, 2022, in France.
In Belfast, the movie director who was born in the capital of Northern Ireland in 1960 tells a love story with lots of humor and drama, amidst the political unrest in the late 60’s in Northern Ireland.
For Belfast, Branagh casted Irish actors: Caitriona Balfe (Ford v. Ferrari, Money Monster…), Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey in the 50 Shades saga…), and Ciarán Hinds (Steppenwolf in Justice League), among others. English Dame Judi Dench (Branagh already directed in Murder on the Orient Express) also stars in the movie.
Note a third Kenneth Branagh movie is still scheduled in 2022: a biopic about the Bee Gees, expected in November.
Summer 1969: 9-year-old Buddy (Jude Hill) perfectly knows who he is and where he belongs: the working-class in the northern suburbs of Belfast, where he lives happy, cherished and safe. His life echoes the rhythm of the neighborhood’s life, with his family, school, friends, within a warm and united community.
With his grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins living nearby, he cannot get lost, and in movie theaters like at home in front of the TV, American movies make Budy travel and feed his imaginary and dreams.
But towards the end of the 60’s, as the first man lands on the Moon, and the heat of August is still around, Buddy’s childhood dreams turn to a nightmare. The underlying social discontent suddenly turns into violence in the streets. First, a masked attack, then riots turning into a conflict spreading to the entire city, aroused by each’s religious belief. Then benevolent, Catholic and Protestant neighbors turn into sworn enemies.
Buddy discovers chaos and hysteria, a new urban landscape made of barriers and check points, filled with good and bad people. What used to be only played before in movie theaters threatens everything he knows and loves. Fights, settling of scores now occur on his doorstep.
His mother (Caitriona Balfe) struggles taking care of her household, while his father (Jamie Dornan) leaves every two weeks to go and work in England. Militias are created, the life of many innocent people is jeopardized. Although Buddy knows what to expect from his celluloid heroes, from John Wayne to Gary Cooper, he yet cannot help but wonder if his father will be up to the task. Will her mother be ready to leave her past behind to save her family’s future? How to find out if his beloved grandparents will stay safe? And how can he win the affection of the girl of his dreams?
Answers to these questions are to be found all along the movie paced with violence, joy, grief, and hope, a path Buddy walks through the cobblestones and barricades, to the sound of laughter and music only Irish people can use when everything collapses around them.
What can Buddy do? This is the only world he knows. This is Belfast.