When the Sky Falls

How do you sell the real-life story of journalist Victoria Guerin (here renamed Sinead Hamilton), killed for speaking out against Dublin's drug barons? As with Erin Brockovich, a feisty mother juggles a dangerous crusade with the demands of family life, but where Erin's enemies were anonymous businessmen, Sinead's are rough and ruined hustlers. Erin's victims were in the dark about the poison entering their blood, but Sinead's have a choice. John (The Long Good Friday) MacKenzie would seem well placed to appreciate such muddy details. For much of the time he does well, treating Sinead (Allen) not as a heroine, but as an ordinary complex individual. She enjoys a charged relationship with one of her sources, Mickey (Smallhorne). Does he provide some sort of sexuality - raciness - lacking in her life, or is that just what she wants him to think? As in Nixon and The Ice Storm, Allen's disheartened eyes keep her secrets locked tight. The Dublin police with whom she joins forces, meanwhile, are incompetent and occasionally vicious, with the most shocking scene saved for the murder of a drug addict forced to act as a mole. It's all the stranger then, that elsewhere the film plays like a dreary TV movie.

Release details

Duration: 107 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John MacKenzie
Screenwriter: Michael Sheridan, Ronan Gallagher, Colum McCann
Cast: Joan Allen
Patrick Bergin
Liam Cunningham
Kevin McNally
Jimmy Smallhorne
Gerard Flynn
Jason Barry
Pete Postlethwaite
Des McAleer
Owen Roe
LiveReviews|0
2 people listening