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Celtic Sole Brother
Oscar-winner Terry George is one of the most important – and creatively successful – film directors in Ireland. Now, with Whole Lotta Sole, he is moving into a new phase of his career.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 25 Jul 2012
It’s in the cupboard!” smiles Terry George, acclaimed man of film and Hot Press survivor. He’s talking about that Oscar. After two deserved nominations and an already illustrious career, George scooped his first famous golden statuette in February for The Shore, a perfectly formed, affecting short concerning a reconciliation between two childhood friends. The recognition was deserved, and appreciated, but the awards themselves? Mere baubles. The thrill for Terry is the next project on the horizon. “Obviously an Oscar is a big deal for anyone,” the Belfast son notes. “God, it’s huge... It’s just that there’s a point where you’ve done the tour and everybody’s had their photo taken with it and it’s time to find another job.”
So we move on to that other job. Starring leading US man Brendan Fraser and Irish icon Colm Meaney, Whole Lotta Sole was shot in George’s hometown in spring 2011 and recently had its public unveiling. “It’s a very ‘Belfast’ comedy,” he says, “in the wit and the darkness in the humour of the people. So it was great to take it up there and show it at the Waterfront Hall.”
The landscape of the film is one close to George’s heart, one he has walked personally and mapped out in film. Alongside Jim Sheridan, he spent the ‘90s telling the story of The Troubles. His Troubles. The titles tell it all. Penning In The Name Of The Father. The Boxer. Coupling that with direction for Some Mother’s Son. Examining the still-fresh wounds and making the issues empathetic and cinematic. Even when he strayed from his struggle, his desire to capture conflict never abated, as with the glorious Hotel Rwanda.
But The Shore, which looked on the bright side of strife, and now Whole Lotta Sole, a Belfast heist move and out-and-out comedy, mark a lighter touch for George. A new phase of filmmaking. He chews this idea over. “Yes,” he concludes. “It is. Obviously Jim [Sheridan] and I did three films about The Troubles that spanned the whole course of it from the early days to the ceasefire.