One tends to have heard about the legend filmmaker Kenneth Branagh and his spectacular movies. “Belfast” is undeniably one of his most personal movies of all time. This autobiographical tale has a violent yet subtle undertone of innocence giving out the universal significance.
The movie is very intelligently shot through the exuberant eyes of a 9-year-old Buddy in Black and white with sporadic bursts of cheerful colours at different intervals. Belfast is a touching narrative of love, joy, and sorrow in one boy’s boyhood set against the music and social turmoil of the late 1960s in Northern Ireland, written and directed by Academy Award nominee Kenneth Branagh.
Belfast had its international premiere in September at the Telluride Film Festival, with a November 12th theatre release date for fans of Branagh’s work and will come to the streaming platforms in a while owing to its demand. The film is critically acclaimed and has received numerous prestigious awards.
Belfast Movie: Filmmaker & the Starcast
Belfast is a far smaller production than Branagh’s other films, such as Thor, Cinderella, and Murder on the Orient Express, as well as a number of Shakespearean adaptations. This is likely perfect for the filmmaker, who has claimed that the film is a far more personal project for him, based on his own experiences of living in the city prior to his family’s relocation to Berkshire, England. The movie was shot during the Covid’19 lockdown.
Given Branagh’s extensive career as an actor, it’s no wonder that his top-tier, superbly cast ensemble has given warm, realistic performances. Jude Hill will play Buddy, with Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe playing the role of his parents from The Fall and Outlander, respectively. Ciarán Hinds and Dame Judi Dench from the Justice League are Buddy’s grandparents and Lewis McAskie plays Will. In addition to writing and directing, Branagh will produce alongside Laura Berwick, Becca Kovacik, and Tamar Thomas.
The film focuses on the mundane matters of daily life rather than the grittier cruel happenings of the Civil war. The movie highlights the transition Buddy goes through with the Civil war in the background. Buddy’s father (Jamie Dornan) is a carpenter working on temporary building contracts in England, hence only his mom is left to keep the fort running. He and his wife are deeply in debt, which they have been working hard to repay. Buddy’s grandfather (Ciarán Hinds) is suffering from health issues, most likely as a result of his time working in the coal mines.
Buddy is smitten with a young lady and is completely enamoured with the moon landing. He enjoys going to the movies and going to the theatre. He’s having the kind of fantastic existence that kids manage to live even in the most perilous situations. He yells because he doesn’t want to leave Belfast when his mother and father discuss it as it is his house, his hometown where he grew up.
Buddy (Jude Hill), the film’s young protagonist, has a rather typical day turned into a blazing catastrophe when a riot breaks out in his neighbourhood leading to the major turning events in the movie. Even when it falters, it is an essential re-orientation toward humanity. However, Branagh cleverly gives the film the feel of a childhood recollection, complete with snatched moments and overheard conversations keeping the horrors of war at bay.
"A soaring cinematic triumph." Winner of the TIFF People's Choice Award, Kenneth Branagh’s #BELFAST is only in theaters November 12. Watch the new trailer now.
— Belfast (@BelfastMovie) October 20, 2021
Branagh is a front-running contender at this year’s Oscars with the possibility of bagging three major awards. The movie won the prestigious Peoples’ Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival with its premiere. The Vanguard Award will be given to Focus Features’ “Belfast” at the Palm Springs International Film Awards.
Kenneth Branagh, Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, and Jude Hill will be among the beneficiaries of a group award that acknowledges a film’s cast and director for their joint achievement. It was reported on October 11, 2021, that newcomer Jude Hill would be nominated for Best Actor at the 94th Academy Awards in 2022, while the four essential cast members — Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, and Ciarán Hinds would be nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor.
The film has received several nominations at the British Independent Film Awards 2021. The critically acclaimed film has garnered various audience awards as well.
- Best Narrative Feature- Kenneth Branagh at Middleburg Film Festival (2021)
- Overall Favorite- Kenneth Branagh at Mill Valley Film Festival (2021)
- Best Narrative Feature- Kenneth Branagh at Montclair Film Festival (MFF) (2021)
- Best Narrative Feature- Kenneth Branagh at Newport Beach Film Festival (2021)
Why are We Looking Forward to it?
Over the previous six months, “Belfast” has been making the rounds of film festivals, garnering up critical acclaim and accolades left and right. As said above, it won the prestigious Peoples’ Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is usually followed by an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, and several other awards are added to its cap. The actors have been nominated for various awards and it will be interesting to watch their chemistry unfolding in the movie.
The enthralling cinematography of the movie with the Black and white tones provide it with an intriguing touch. The last shots, which are achingly romantic, communicate their decision in a manner that is more powerful than any of the nostalgia that has preceded it. The movie is an achingly beautiful representation of a world surrounded by love, family, and war. Giving a film set in Belfast in 1969 the warm light of ordinary life is a brave move. It serves as a reminder that life goes on.
Another element is the amazing music composition of lovely and bluesy songs by Van Morrison, a Belfast native, who composed the music for the film, which includes eight iconic songs as well as a new song written specifically for the film. The most thrilling aspect of Belfast is Kenneth Branagh’s comeback. His early work was defined by astonishing expressionism and the fact that he didn’t shy away from the material’s underlying epic grandeur. It is worth watching this movie for the absolute brilliance of Branagh’s work.