Ciarán Hinds has played so many strong, willful men that I was taken aback by his delicate performance here as a silently grieving widower. The man's wife has died of cancer, leaving him with two young children, a resentful father-in-law, and nightmares so frightening that, during a local literary conference, he seeks out the counsel of a woman (Iben Hjejle) who's written a book about the supernatural. This Irish drama is an odd bird to be sure, mixing romance, horror, satire (with Aidan Quinn as a vain, bullying author), and piercing moments of personal loss. The whole thing would probably have flown apart if not for Hinds, whose character, like a dark star imploding, pulls everything toward him. Noted playwright Conor McPherson directed his own script, adapting a short story by Billy Roche.
Director: Conor McPherson
Producer: Robert Walpole, Paddy McDonald and Rebecca O'Flanagan
Cast: Ciarán Hinds, Aidan Quinn, Iben Hjejle, Jim Norton, Eanna Hardwicke and Hannah Lynch