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The Dead

7.4
7,082
Ratings
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Original title
The Dead
Year
Running time
81 min.
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Director
Screenwriter
Tony Huston (undefined: James Joyce)
Music
Alex North
Cinematography
Fred Murphy
Cast
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Producer
Co-production United Kingdom-Ireland-United States; Channel 4 / Delta Film / Liffey Films / Vestron Pictures / Zenith Entertainment
Genre
Drama | 1900s. Christmas. Costume Drama
Movie Groups
James Joyce Adaptations
New
Synopsis / Plot
John Huston's last film is a labor of love at several levels: an adaptation of perhaps one of the greatest pieces of English-language literature by one of Huston's favorite authors, James Joyce; a love letter to the land of his ancestors and the country where his children grew up; and the chance to work with his screenwriter son Tony and his actress daughter Anjelica. The film is delicate and unhurried, detailing a Christmas dinner at the house of two spinster musician sisters and their niece in turn-of-the-century Ireland, attended by friends and family. Among the visiting attendees are the sisters' nephew Gabriel Conroy and his wife Gretta. The evening's reminiscences bring up melancholy memories for Gretta concerning her first, long-lost love when she was a girl in rural Galway. Her recounting of this tragic love to Gabriel brings him to an epiphany: he learns the difference between mere existence and living. The all-Irish cast and careful period detail give the piece richness and gravity, and Donal McCann and Anjelica Huston are unforgettable as the Conroys.
Awards
1987: 2 Nominations for Oscar: Best Costume Design, Adapted Screenplay
1987: David di Donatello Awards: Nominated Best Foreign Film
1987: New York Film Critics Circle: 5 Nominations, including Best Film
1987: Independent Spirit Awards: Best Director & Best Supp. Actress (Huston). 4 Nominations
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