THE PIER - (2011) 83 MINS
Jack McCarthy (Gerard Hurley)’s normal life in New York is disrupted by an emergency call from his elderly father, Larry (Karl Johnson), whom he has not heard from in 20 years. Believing his father is terminally ill, Jack reluctantly but dutifully rushes back to his hometown in the Southwest of Ireland. On his arrival, he is furious to find his father both very much alive and unrepentant at having tricked his son into returning. Unable to return to New York, through lack of funds, Jack is forced to partner with his father to recover money owed to him by people in the locality for work done. This creates inevitably tensions between father and son as they confront their long and painful relationship, with some humorous outcomes. Jack’s only respite comes through a chance encounter with the charming but unavailable American tourist, Grace Ross (Lili Taylor). She is trying to escape from her own personal problems through searching for her Irish heritage. For everyone involved, coming to terms can only be achieved through general acceptance of human frailty – something that is never simple and never comes without a cost. The authenticity and sense of place in this film has resonated with festival audiences worldwide.