Irish Movies: The Boxer (1997)

by Beth Rowen

The Boxer (1997)

Director Jim Sheridan and actor Daniel Day-Lewis team up for their third—and most immediate—film about Northern Ireland. The chemistry between Day-Lewis and Watson burns up the screen, creating a fiery edge-of-your-seat intensity. And that's the romantic part of the film. There's also the drama surrounding the Troubles. A changed political climate in which a fragile Northern Ireland teeters on the brink of violence during the cease fire makes 1997's The Boxer even more intense than In the Name of the Father.

Recently released after serving a 14-year prison sentence for doing the IRA a favor, Danny Flynn (Day-Lewis) longs for peace in his life. He also wants another go at the boxing career he left behind when he went to jail. Danny's hope for peace is threatened when he's reunited with his old girlfriend, Maggie (Watson), who's since married his best friend and had a child. Maggie doesn't love her husband, who is now in jail himself, but can't go back to Danny because of an IRA code of loyalty. Maggie's father, a local IRA leader (Brian Cox), can't offer Danny any protection because of the code and a firebrand underling who prefers the days of guns and violence—within and outside the IRA.

Movie Poster for The Boxer

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