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Irish Movies

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by Beth Rowen

The Van (1996)

The Van is not as sharply observed or as boisterous as the first two installments of Roddy Doyle's Barrytown Trilogy, The Commitments and The Snapper, but it is a sincere portrayal of Dublin's working class. When bakery worker Bimbo (Donal O'Kelly) loses his job, he heads to the pub to commiserate with his out-of-work buddies.

Bimbo convinces his best friend, Larry (Colm Meaney), to go into business with him. They decide to peddle fried food out of a chipper van and scrape together enough money to buy a grease-infested, broken-down truck. Their timing could not be better. The 1996 film is set in 1990, when Ireland advanced to the World Cup finals. They park the van outside pubs on game nights and make a killing. But the partnership nearly destroys the friendship as Bimbo questions Larry's work ethic. The accumulating grime under Larry's fingernails doesn't help Bimbo's confidence.

Movie Poster for The Van

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“Nevada” is Spanish for “snowcapped.”

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