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Dancing at Lughnasa

Director:Pat O'Connor
Writer:Frank McGuinness
Sony Pictures Classics; PG; 94 minutes
Cast:Meryl Streep, Michael Gambon, Sophie Thompson, Catherine McCormack, Kathy Burke, Brid Brennan and Rhys Ifans

A beautifully told, finely wrought tale of despair and foreboding in 1930s Ireland. The five Mundy sisters (Streep, McCormack, Thompson, Burke and Brennan) barely survive on the family farm, and the dynamics between them are on equally shaky ground. When two men, one, their missionary brother (Gambon), the other the father (Ifans) of the youngest sister's child, re-enter their lives, the women face increasing tension, from each other as well as from outsiders. Once again, Streep gives a powerful yet subtle performance, playing the eldest and most tormented sister.

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