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Heinous crimes against Irish accents? Here's what we know so far about new movie Wild Mountain Thyme

Christopher Walken, Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan all star in the new Hollywood film.

Source: LionsgateFilmsUK/YouTube

THERE HAVE BEEN some truly grotesque attempts at Irish accents in Hollywood films over the years.

But a trailer for a new film that hit social media last night has made an admirable attempt at breaking records for how many bad Irish accents you can fit into two minutes and thirty seconds.

Wild Mountain Thyme, filmed in Co Mayo in Autumn 2019, is the latest film from John Patrick Shanley, an Oscar winner back in 1988 for his film Moonstruck. 

And it has a star-studded cast with Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Jon Hamm and Christopher Walken. 

As for the plot? Stop me if you heard this one before.

The blurb says: “An epic love story with soaring lyricism, Wild Mountain Thyme is set against the breath-taking landscapes of rural Ireland, where everyone is half mad with loneliness or love, and the weather is terrible.

Anthony and Rosemary are star-crossed lovers, whose families are caught up in a feud over a hotly contested patch of land that separates their two farms.
Anthony (Dornan) always seems to be out in the fields working, worn down by his father’s constant belittling. But what really stings is his father’s threat to bequeath the family farm to his American cousin Adam. Rosemary (Blunt) at first seems to hold a grudge for having been shamed by Anthony in childhood, but the sparks between them would keep a bonfire blazing through the night. Her mother Aoife strives to unite the families before it is too late.

“Just when we think Anthony will pluck up the courage to face up to his repressed feelings, cousin Adam (Hamm) steps in with a plan to sweep Rosemary off her feet, romancing her over a magical 24 hours in Manhattan. But true love is never defeated!”

There are a great many stereotypes around about the Irish, but “the sparks between them would keep a bonfire blazing through the night” is a new one.


It all sounds very dramatic but, to Irish ears, it’s hard to hear beyond the accents in the trailer.

As one caller to RTÉ’s Liveline today put it: “For an Irishman, Jamie Dornan has one of the worst Irish accents I’ve ever heard.”

There are so many aspects to pick apart in the trailer – much of it set to Will Ye Go, Lassie Go – but a personal favourite currently is hearing Christopher Walken say “you take after John Kelly and that man was as mad as the full moon”. A commonly-used phrase in “half mad rural Ireland”, of course.

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The Irish embassy of the USA was prepared to give the accents a pass anyway.

Tweet by @Embassy of Ireland USA Source: Embassy of Ireland USA/Twitter

The story is adapted from the play Outside Mullingar by Shanley, which ran on Broadway in 2014 and received a Tony Award nomination for best play. 

This kind of portrayal is aimed squarely at an American audience, it is due to be released in cinemas there and on demand on 11 December. 

There’s no Irish release date as of yet but, after months and months of cinemas being closed this year, you’d have to give it a go when they open again?

It could even be good fun, even if the premise is a bit hackneyed at this stage:

About the author:

Sean Murray

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