on March 19, 2004 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
A diverse group of Dubliners cross paths in this ambitious but unwieldy and nasty drama. Thuggish robber Lehiff (a chilling Colin Farrell) is the nominal fulcrum of the movie, enticing a disgruntled supermarket clerk (Cillian Murphy of "28 Days Later") to join his scheme to rob a bank, whose manager just happens to be involved with John's ex-girlfriend Deirdre (Kelly Macdonald). That plan in turn attracts the unwelcome attention of Jerry (Colm Meaney), a loutish cop who hopes to be the subject of his own reality show. Other characters, including Deirdre's cynical sister (Shirley Henderson) and supportive mother (Ger Ryan), orbit around the action too.

"Intermission" is a well-crafted film with strong performances all around, but it's also mean-spirited, particularly in its treatment of its women, who are abused and mocked in their despair. The film's violence, while realistic, is also gratuitous, and its characterization, more often than not, skimpy and trite. There's talent behind the camera, but the story leaves a lot to be desired. Starring Colin Farrell, Kelly Macdonald, Cillian Murphy and Colm Meaney. Directed by John Crowley. Written by Mark O'Rowe. Produced by Stephen Woolley, Neil Jordan and Alan Moloney. An IFC release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 102 min

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