| The tiny seaside town of Cobh in Cork County, Ireland, makes an idyllic setting for the annual literary festival that attracts authors from all over the world. Michael Farr (Ciaran Hinds from “Munich” and HBO’s “Rome”) volunteers to serve on the hospitality committee as a greeter and a driver. He is adjusting to raising his 14-year-old daughter Sarah and 10-year-old-son Thomas on his own after recently losing his wife to cancer.
Michael strikes up a friendship with British author Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle from “Defiance” and “High Fidelity”). The title of the movie is the same as that of her newest book. Her specialty is writing about the supernatural in upscale horror novels.
Michael is haunted by ghastly visions of his dying father-in-law, who resides in a nursing home. He turns to Lena for help in deciphering these strange paranormal events.
Lena has problems of her own to contend with. The vain and arrogant bestselling author Nicholas Holden (Aidan Quinn from “Songcatcher” and “Legends of the Fall”) is pursuing Lena and hoping to get her in the sack again after their one-night stand years earlier. Lena is sympathetic to this married man, but rebuffs his awkward advances.
The high caliber acting is wasted on the bland and dull story. Despite an 88-minute running time, the movie is excruciatingly slow and grows tiresome as nothing much happens. It maintains a melancholy mood with the characters contemplating deep thoughts rather than expressing themselves in meaningful dialogue.
The strong original score alternates between piano solos and choral music. The cinematography comes up all aces with picturesque scenery in this slice-of-life drama.
Playwright Conor McPherson wrote and directed the movie, which is loosely based on a short story by Billy Roche. It fails to sustain viewer interest and comes up short in the romance and horror departments.
Hinds and Quinn received awards for their performances. The former won best actor at 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and the latter won best supporting actor at 2010 Irish Film and Television Awards.
Now showing exclusively for a limited engagement at the Tivoli in Westport.
Keith Cohen "The Movie Guy"