Banshees of Inisherin, The: Rapturous Reaction from Critics and Viewers (13 Minute Standing Ovation)

Banshees of Inisherin
Venice Film Festival
Searchlight Pictures (previously Fox Searchlight) has always had major Oscar contenders and winners (13 Year a Slave, Birdman, Nomadland). The acclaimed indie studio may have secured another ticket en route to Oscar Gold.
Good storytelling? Colin Farrell star power?

The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic fable had a sensational debut at the Venice Fest, earning a 13-minute standing ovation.

That is the longest and loudest reception for any film to debut on the Lido this season, at least based on the slightly unscientific applause meter.

McDonagh and stars Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Kerry Condon hugged each other throughout the ovation and walked down from the mezzanine to the orchestra.

Farrell broke with tradition by wading into the crowd to take selfies with fans and sign autographs, which only made the cheering grow louder and more sustained.

At one point, actress and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, McDonagh’s partner, leaned over her chair and kissed her boyfriend as he basked in the adulation.

The love for The Banshees of Inisherin was intense, with the crowd leaping to its feet with such passion.

The film tells the off-beat story of two best buddies (Farrell and Gleeson) who abruptly end their friendship, a dissolution that has huge impact on their rural community.

Quietly powerful, saddled with many haunting and sad moments, McDonagh has written a deft script and directed with a sure hand, coaxing great performances from his entire ensemble.

As of today, The Banshees of Inisherin seems to be a sure-fire Best Picture candidate, and Colin Farrell could land his first Best Actor nomination; Gleeson and Condon may be strong supporting actor and actress candidates.

Venice: Critical Highlights

This year’s edition of Venice Fest is particularly strong.  The competition includes several films that likely compete with The Banshees of Inisherin” for major awards (Oscar, BAFTA, and beyond): Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which earned raves for its star Brendan Fraser, and Todd Fields’ “Tár,” his first film in 16 years, starring Cate Blanchett in an astonishing, Oscar-caliber turn.

The Banshees of Inisherin reunites McDonagh with both Gleeson and Farrell. The three previously worked together on 2008’s “In Bruges.” McDonagh most recently directed 2017’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” another Searchlight release that was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning two for the performances of Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.

The Banshees of Inisherin opens in theaters October 21.