Archive for the ‘Ruth Meehan’ Category

Casting for Confidence

The Bright Side

Director: Ruth Meehan

Cast: Gemma-Leah Devereaux, Siobhan Cullan, Karen Egan, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Kevin McGahern, Barbara Brennan, Claire O’Donovan

European Film Festival 2021https://www.eurofilmfest.co.za/films/

This film is from the Republic of Ireland and has no subtitles

This film gets a rating of 7.5 out of 10

Irish director Ruth Meehan tackles the subject of breast cancer in her charming first full length feature film The Bright Side, starring a wonderfully off beat performance by rising star Gemma-Leah Devereaux (Judy) as thirty something Kate McLoughlin who has a budding career as a stand-up comedian and is the reckless sibling of responsible brother James played by Kevin McGahern.

Kate’s career is stopped dead in her tracks when she is diagnosed with breast cancer and has to undergo chemotherapy and a partial mastectomy. Kate’s wicked sense of humour endears her to her fellow breast cancer sufferers who she meets during chemotherapy including Tracey played by Siobhan Cullen and the ever glamourous Fiona played by Karen Egan.

Writers Ruth Meehan and Jean Pasley do not gloss over any of the psychological trauma of women undergoing treatment for breastcancer especially the effects of chemotherapy and the associated body image issues that women might have with losing their hair or having their breasts removed.

There is a wonderful scene, both empowering and beautiful when Kate decides to go for a night on the town and in the ladies room at the local disco, she is standing next to voluptuous young women in their twenties who are glamourizing themselves in front of the mirror, when Tracey appears. Both Kate and Tracey take off their wigs, much to the horror of the young women and stand together in solidarity, looking at their reflection in the mirror.

Obviously this is a female focused story, but there is room for a male character, the shy pharmacist Andy played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor who takes a shine to Kate and then even offers to take the chemotherapy group on a fly fishing excursion in his van which has the words Casting with Confidence on the side. Andy has lost his wife to breast cancer and he decided to encourage breast cancer sufferers to take up fly fishing to help their lymphatic glands get better, with casting for confidence.

The Bright side is a bitter-sweet comedy featuring an amazing performance by Gemma-Leah Devereaux which encompasses all the dark humour that the Irish are known for.

The Bright Side gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 and is worth seeing, held together firmly by some strong female performances.

Both courageous and hilarious, this charming Irish film is highly recommended viewing for both men and women.

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