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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Turning Green

MOVIE REVIEWS

TURNING GREEN (2005)

Starring Timothy Hutton, Colm Meaney, Alessandro Nivola, Donal Gallery, Killian Morgan, Jill Harding, Billie Traynor, Brid Ni Chionaola, Deirdre Monaghan, Glenn Gannon, Gavin O'Connor, Sinead C. Kavanagh and Katherine Kendall.

Screenplay by Michael Aimette and John G. Hoffman.

Directed by Michael Aimette and John G. Hoffman.

Distributed by New Films International.  85 minutes.   Not Rated.

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Turning Green

Turning Green is a pleasant enough if slightly uneven coming-of-age movie which surveys life in a small seaside village in Ireland in the mid-70s. 

It is a very picturesque little area, but Turning Green shows it from the point-of-view of the one person who most wants to escape the place, sort of skewing the perceptions.  Is this a scenic, quiet little hamlet or desperate, boring trap? 

Our guide is James Powers (Donal Gallery) – an American-born teen who has ended up in this little town due to the death of his mother.  His father didn’t feel like he could care for James and his eleven-year-old brother, so he sent them to live with aunts in the old home country. 

James hates Ireland, he hates his aunts and all he wants is to get himself and his little brother back home.  (Interestingly, James and his brother apparently were born and raised in the US and only shipped off to Ireland to stay with their aunts when their mother died – and yet both boys have strong Irish brogues rather than US accents.) 

In the meantime, James whiles away his time looking at the sea from nearby cliffs, peeping on local women undressing, collecting debts for a local gangster (Alessandro Nivola) and his leg breaker (Timothy Hutton) and hanging out with an older man who is a hopeless gambler but reminds James of his da (Colm Meaney). 

Hutton and Meaney get top-billing here because they are the best-known actors on hand, but both have rather small supporting roles – though both are just fine at them.  Hutton is particularly impressive as a greasy Irish tough – you almost wish his character had more to do. 

Mostly, though, James’ dreary Irish life revolves around trying to find a little privacy so he can masturbate. 

This little “hobby” finally opens up the opportunity for James to get back to America.  While visiting London to see a doctor, James stumbles upon a newsstand which sells a wide variety of adult magazines – which are not available in Ireland.  After enjoying them himself, it occurs to him (with the imagined help of a fantasy centerfold) that there would be a real market for pictures of naked women in his town, so he “borrows” a little money from his boss to buy a box of porn to resell to his neighbors.

Turning Green – which was released in Europe in 2005 and is four years later getting its US opening – does a nice job of juggling dark comedy, local scenery and gangster drama as it works its eccentric way towards a rather expected, traditional ending.  Still, even if the movie is not quite as shocking or groundbreaking as it may hope to be, in its little small way it is rather entertaining.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 18, 2009.

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Copyright ©2009   PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 18, 2009.

 

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