A Date For Mad Mary

Watched: 10 August

It’s a shame that this Irish film – generally well-received at home and by reviewers in other countries – didn’t get a UK cinema release. It has a certain amount of spark, even though it’s still a fairly straightforward drama, in which main character ‘Mad’ Mary McArdle (Séana Kerslake) tries to reconnect with friends and family in Drogheda after a short spell in prison, reacting to their prejudices and lack of support with a mix of frustration and anti-social behaviour. A well-worn premise – Mary needs to find a date for ‘best friend’ Charlene’s wedding – actually ends up leading somewhere interesting, as the screenplay explores Mary’s queerness while a believable romance develops with folk singer Jess (Tara Lee). Kerslake and Lee both deliver good performances that suggest promising futures. (***½)

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