Fools of Fortune | Chicago Reader

Fools of Fortune

Opening during Ireland's post-World War I independence struggle, this English feature directed by Pat O'Connor (Cal) and written by Michael Hirst focuses on the tragedy that ensues when the employee of a wealthy Irish Protestant family is killed by Irish Republicans for suspected spying, and the British Black and Tans retaliate. The only child in the family who escapes the massacre (Iain Glen) grows up with his alcoholic and embittered mother (Julie Christie), and eventually forsakes the love of a good woman (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) to seek revenge. Unfortunately, the charm of the settings and cast can't make up for the lugubrious pacing and the gooey ending, and the specter of “quality TV”—the film was partially produced by England's Channel Four—is never far away; but cinematographer Jerzy Zielinski does memorable things with the Irish countryside.

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