In this blockbuster tale of a hot-headed Irish Catholic lad (Tom Cruise) and a stiff-lipped Irish Protestant lass (Nicole Kidman) making a new life in America, we first meet Cruise’s character Joseph Donnelly as he seeks revenge for the burning down of his family’s home. “I’m Joseph Donnelly of the family Donnelly, that you pushed off our land!” Cruise bellows, when he confronts the apparent perpetrator, his former landlord.
It’s pretty clear from this moment on that the movie is in no way going to be either a realistic portrayal of Ireland, or of the Irish lilt. There’s one main problem: Cruise sounds like a pirate. His consonants grate, and his vowels are as flat as the plains. He even looks like he might just start scrubbing the deck or hoisting the mainsail. The whole thing just seems a bit silly. Still, there are worse portrayals, and the movie is watchable in a reductive, rose-tinted sort of way. This is a bare pass.
GRADE: D (Kidman’s accent is better. She gets a C)