British director Ken Loach (The Angels' Share) and his longtime screenwriter Paul Laverty tell the story of James Gralton, a leader of the Irish communist party who spent much of his adult life in exile. The movie takes place in 1932, when Gralton returns from the U.S. to his rural hometown to look after his aging mother and reopens a modest dance hall once operated by his father. When he starts using the hall to host party meetings, he provokes the ire of his parish priest, who launches a crusade against the institution. As usual, Loach and Laverty take a sentimental view of collective political action and a fairly simplistic view of their conservative antagonists, yet the portrait of Gralton and his comrades is so rich and heartfelt that one might easily overlook all the moralizing.
Director: Ken Loach
Producer: Rebecca O'Brien
Cast: Barry Ward, Francis Magee, Aileen Henry, Simone Kirby, Stella McGirl, Sorcha Fox, Martin Lucey, Mikel Murfi, Shane O'Brien, Denise Gough, Jim Norton, Aisling Franciosi, Karl Geary, Brian O'Byrne, Conor McDermottroe, John Cronogue, Seamus Hughes, Andrew Scott, Michael Sheridan, Rebecca O'Mara and Diane Parkes