Review: The Eclipse DVD

STUDIO: Magnolia | DIRECTOR: Conor McPherson | CAST: Ciarán Hinds, Iben Hjejle, Aidan Quinn, Jim Norton
RELEASE DATE: 6/29/10 | PRICE: DVD $26.98, Blu-ray $29.98
BONUSES: featurette, deleted scenes
SPECS: R | 88 min. | Drama | 1.66:1 widescreen | Dolby AC-3 Surround

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A haunting mix of deeply felt drama and supernatural thriller, The Eclipse is a literate and gorgeously shot independent film from award-winning playwright and sometimes director Conor McPherson (The Seafarer).

The always reliable Ciarán Hinds (Julius Caesar from HBO’s Rome) plays a depressed widowed father of two who teaches shop in the small Irish town of Cobhe. When a literary festival begins, he becomes interested in Iben Hjejle, a London novelist specializing in otherworldly subjects. Trouble arrives when her ex-lover (Aidan Quinn, Handsome Harry) comes to town and Hinds begins seeing ghostly apparitions.

The hybrid of two diverse genres is what makes The Eclipse unique.

McPherson offers this mediation on grief and how to overcome it like a John Ford (The Quiet Man) epic, capturing incredible Irish locations and real local color.

Because the movie is so solemn, the supernatural sequences are quite startling, coming seemingly out of nowhere.

Reliable character actor Hinds gets a a rare lead and brings a compelling presence to the proceedings, and it’s good to see Hjejle, best known as John Cusack’s ex in High Fidelity, in an English-language film again. Aidan Quinn, as the rambunctious “other man” and stage veteran Jim Norton (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) as Hinds’ sickly father-in-law also score in supporting roles.


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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.