Irish Eye on Hollywood Irish-American hunk George Clooney recently said that he plans to return to
Also at Tribeca, the aforementioned Frank John Hughes has a supporting role, along with Linus Roche (who starred in the controversial film Priest), in Yonkers Joe, which stars Chazz Palminteri. Yonkers Joe is set in a working-class white ethnic enclave and explores the life of a low-level criminal whose life is radically changed when he must care for his son, who has Down's Syndrome. Yonkers Joe also stars Thomas Guiry (Black Irish, Mystic River).
Now, here is where the Irish affiliations with Tribeca get a little, um, idiosyncratic. Kicking It is a documentary about homeless men, and their participation in a nationwide soccer tournament. Who better to narrate this film than . . . Colin Farrell! True, Farrell is the son of an Irish soccer player, but this is still quite a departure from the glitz and glamour of Miami Vice. Farrell's next movie is the long-awaited New York Irish-American crime drama Pride and Glory. Directed by Jimmy Egan and co-starring Edward Norton, Pride and Glory is not scheduled for release until 2009.
Meanwhile, another Tribeca documentary, Chevolution, about the public fascination with Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, features commentary from Sinn Fin leader Gerry Adams. Two final Tribeca entries with Irish-American links are Lake City and Finding Amanda. Lake City is a drama starring Sissy Spacek and Troy Garrity (son of Jane Fonda and Irish- American activist Tom Hayden). It is an examination of a fractured mother-son relationship, and how they must confront each other following a family tragedy.
Finding Amanda, meanwhile, is a big screen project from one of the creators of Denis Leary's critically acclaimed Irish-American TV show Rescue Me. In Finding Amanda, writer-director Peter Tolan teams up with Irish-American veteran Matthew Broderick in a drama about an alcoholic TV producer who is forced to travel to Las Vegas to confront his niece (Brittany Murphy), whose addictions are even worse than his. Release dates for all of the Irish fare at the Tribeca Fest are either not set yet or tentative. Keep reading Eye on Hollywood for more info.
The movie rights to Paddy on the Hardwood, the non-fiction book about a longtime basketball coach who chased his dream of becoming a fiddle player to Ireland, only to get caught up in Irish pro basketball, were recently purchased. A script and shooting schedule are reportedly in the works.
The summer blockbuster season will soon be upon us, but Irish and Irish-American talent are sticking to work that seems a little more artsy. True, Liam Neeson will be heard (if not seen) doing voice work in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, due out May 16. Neeson's next big movie after that is the September thriller Taken, also starring Maggie Grace (of TV's Lost) and Goran Kostic. Taken is about a former soldier whose daughter is taken hostage by modern day slave traders. It sounds a bit like an update of the old Arnold Schwarzenegger flick Commando, but let's assume Neeson would have passed on the project if it were not thought-provoking as well as action-packed.