Why did you go see The Banshees of Inisherin?

Even if I weren’t a writer on this site or a part of this industry, I would have seen it, sooner or later, because of the part Irish thing. Not that an Irish person in 2023 would agree with that – as a blanket statement, they tend to hate anything that feels too small-world leprechauny and whimsical for what is increasingly a strikingly modern country.  For example, it is going to rankle so hard in certain places in Ireland that they had to bring the donkey on stage. Reallly!? You thought Jenny was cute, sure. I guarantee there’s going to be a headline tomorrow about whether or not having Jenny there was an ok type of pandering, or the bad kind. 


This is the thing about the Irish, or the Irish diaspora. They’re not a monolith, and Banshees is not a documentary but …you know… it’s within striking distance of it. The whole thing – being medium sad and then having a surprising but notable increase to your sadness, and being indignant about that same sadness – sounds MORE THAN A BIT Irish to me, and to those who know what I’m talking about. 

Which is, oddly enough, why I’d have given anything to hang out with the Banshees cast  last night. When they lost. They were delighted to be there, sure, but they knew the tide was turning. I would wager they knew after the first award of the night (if not two weeks ago) that it was probably going to be a shutout. So it was almost guaranteed they had lost, but they still had to sit there for the three-plus hours.  


Do you know how funny Irish people are when things aren’t going well like that? How lyrically they swear? The gallows humour they would have had? Especially as Colin Farrell sits there, watching his child absolutely adore him, knowing he wasn’t going to win a blessed thing but had to keep smiling and aw-shucks-ing? It’s exquisitely tortuous, and the stories that will be told about it for years afterward, I would pay any amount of money to be in the pub for. Or failing that, the gym at the Roosevelt Hotel*. 

So it figures they all looked like they were having an amazing night. Brendan Gleeson looked delighted just to be watching the show, and maybe also enjoying Colin’s polite discomfort and will do a spirited rendition of it when they’re all drunk later. Kerry Condon, whose yellow dress was delightful, but less architectural than everyone else, already knows she’ll have to put up with people calling her next role her ‘breakout performance’ like they did this time, and when she was in The Last Station and Three Billboards… 


...and I don’t know about Barry Keoghan for sure, but I hope fervently that he met up with Donald Glover at Vanity Fair and they had a deep discussion about the evaporating confines of “men’s” fashion, because I think they might understand each other, e.g. 

Donald Glover attends the Vanity Fair 95th Oscars Party
Donald Glover attends the Vanity Fair 95th Oscars Party at the The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California on March 12, 2023

All this is sheer fantasy, of course, but I know one thing they didn’t do last night was mope about the shutout. There’ll be time for that, but last night was the most joyful of gallows humour. I giggle just thinking about it. 


Incidentally, while it was somewhat hard to find writer/director Martin McDonagh in the audience – I don’t think they got a single shot of him –  it was less hard to find his partner, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who completed many, many tiny variations on this pose: 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards
Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California

*Colin Farrell and I very nearly made each other’s acquaintance in the hotel gym, several years in a row. I feel fairly certain next time is Our Time.