Movie Review: The Banshees of Inisherin (McDonagh, 2022)

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Movie: The Banshees of Inisherin 

Production Companies: Film4 Productions, Blueprint Pictures, TSG Entertainment 

Director: Martin McDonagh 

Producers: Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Martin McDonagh 

Scriptwriter: Martin McDonagh 

Main Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan, Kerry Condon

Release Date: October 21st 2022 (UK)

Running Time: 114 minutes 

Certificate: 15


So it’s that time of the year again: The Oscars. With the annual awards show coming up soon, why not look at a frontrunner for Best Picture: The Banshees of Inisherin? And yes it’s quite likely that every reviewer under the planet is releasing Oscar reviews now but still how could I not join in? Anyway, not only is this a reunion of Gleeson, Farrell and McDonagh from In Bruges, but it’s also a brilliant film in its own right. Whether it’s the performances, particularly from Gleeson and Farrell who have fantastic chemistry, or the great writing there’s plenty to love about the Banshees of Inisherin. So without further ado let’s get into my review of the film


The Banshees of Inisherin follows life on a remote island off the coast of Ireland for two friends Padraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson). Except the plot of the film revolves around Colm deciding randomly to stop being friends with Padraic. What follows is Padraic doing everything in his power he can to try and make Colm talk to him and become his friend again. And somehow this devolves into violence very quickly but that could be in line with the meaning behind the film. All of this is in spite of Padraic’s sister, Siobhan (Condon) wanting the whole matter to die down. Anyway, there’s really not much to say for the plot because it’s brilliance is in its simplicity so without further ado let’s jump into the analysis portion of my review now.

Colin Farrell’s Performance in the Banshees of Inisherin 

To begin my analysis of the Banshees of Inisherin I’m going to discuss Colin Farrell’s performance as Padraic. And firstly it’s such a shame this performance coincided with Brendan Fraser’s performance in the Whale otherwise Farrell would be in much stronger contention to win best actor. With that little side note aside, Farrell’s performance is brilliant. And a brilliant example of this is in the first 25 minutes of the film. Why? Because initially he, like the audience, has no idea why Colm is refusing to talk to him anymore. The whole through line of Are you rowing? I don’t think we are? Are we rowing? is brilliant and very much shows off Farrell’s comedic chops with him looking bewildered.

Also, for more evidence of this look no further than the scene where Padraic finally finds out why Colm is avoiding him. The look of hurt and anger on Padraic’s face, shown brilliantly in a low angle shot, is brilliant. Oh and also I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his chemistry with Dominic (Keoghan) as most of the time Padraic rightfully seems too pissed off at Colm to really bother with Dominic’s nonsense. Anyway, hats off to Farrell for a fantastic performance.

Brendan Gleeson’s Performance in the Banshees of Inisherin 

Continuing my analysis of the Banshees of Inisherin, I’m going to discuss the other half of the In Bruges reunion: Brendan Gleeson’s performance as Colm. Yet again Gleeson finds himself in the same position as Farrell in regards to the Oscars and his potential to win an award for his performance. But like Farrell he still puts in a brilliant performance which is obviously highlighted by his chemistry with Farrell. Again for an example of this great performance and chemistry look at the aforementioned scene where Padraic finds out why Colm has decided to stop talking to him. Here, the lack of two shots really serves to emphasise how Colm suddenly feels about Padraic. Also, the lack of emotion in Gleeson’s delivery is perfect as he refuses to listen or give Padraic a chance to redeem himself in his eyes.

Also, another example of this phenomenal performance is the finger threatening scene. Basically, Colm threatens that if Padraic ever talks to him again he’ll cut off his own fingers and send them to him. Damn that’s a bit much but ok…. Not only is this delivered brilliantly by Gleeson but the use of the over the shoulder shot enhances the performance. Basically, this shot mimics how Colm thinks Padraic is constantly looking over his shoulder desperately trying to find forgiveness from him. Again, another stellar performance overall from Brendan Gleeson.

Cinematography in the Banshees of Inisherin

To conclude my analysis of the Banshees of Inisherin, I’m going to discuss the film’s cinematography. Now straight off the bat the cinematography is great. And for an example look no further than the landscape shots. Firstly, the way the cinematography shows off the beauty of this island off the coast of Ireland is gorgeous as it shows us all the stereotypical beautiful nature shots. Also, the cinematography does a great job of keeping the Irish Civil War relevant in the film. A great example of this is Padraic looking across the water and seeing gunfire and explosions. This is a great way of keeping the Irish Civil War perfectly in the background and within the audience’s mind subtly without it ever feeling forced.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cinematography used for Padraic and Colm which really shows how their relationship deteriorates then slowly rebuilds. This is through the use of two shots as there are very few at the beginning of the film but slowly more start to be used later in the film. A particularly good example of this is when Colm is driving Padraic and his cart back. By using a two shot, McDonagh lulls the audience into believing Colm has dropped his grudge with Padraic. However, the following shot of him walking away on a separate road reinforces the cleverness of the cinematography.


To summarise the Banshees of Inisherin, this is a phenomenal reunion from the trio behind In Bruges. With some phenomenal performances, including Keoghan who I’ve barely had time to mention, the film makes a strong case for the best Picture Oscar. So there’s really no better time to finally watch it now it’s on Disney+.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10 – Excellent

Target Audience: 15+

Content Warning: Mild Sex and Nudity, Moderate Violence and Gore, Moderate Profanity, Mild Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes

Recommendation: Yes