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Life is what happens in between. 

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Intermission

When the desperately insecure and emotionally inarticulate John (Cillian Murphy, 28 Days Later) breaks up with Deirdre (Macdonald) to 'give her a little test' his plan backfires leaving her broken-hearted and him alone and miserable. Through chance and coincidence, their break-up triggers a roller coaster ride of interweaving escapades in the lives of everyone around them. Intermission presents a slice of life, the passage between breaking up and making up, exploring how our lives intersect, and the power we all possess to affect the lives of those around us

Gritty ensemble movies with interlocking stories have become commonplace in recent years, and most of them have been at best tolerable. But the Irish ‘Pulp Fiction’, if you will, succeeds the majority for its believable portrayal of urban life, through its script, direction and superb cast. As usual, Farrell is magnetic as ever in a thoroughly disreputable part (including a real shock in his first few minutes of screen time). He even manages to pull off an inspired rendition of ‘I fought the law’ during the end credits. The rest of the cast look like they’re having a ball and this shows through the energy they possess and give throughout the film.

With eleven plotlines, each worthy of its own film, the audience is never lost, instead, craving more. While films, such as Love Actually, did some heavy lifting to connect its wide-ranging plotlines, InterMission brings its many characters together with seeming effortlessness and no shortage of delightful, often rude, quintessentially Irish throwaway humour. Even a seemingly insignificant funny detail like John’s addiction to brown sauce in his coffee plays a key role in the story.

The film successfully portrays violence, humour, and touching little moments about love and the lengths people will go to get it. Although the film was successful in America, it did not get the release or promotion it rightfully deserved in Britain. Nevertheless, this sleeper is proof that a small budget doesn’t matter when you’ve got a terrific script and great acting to bring it to life.

Phil Lurie

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Autumn Term (35mm)
2003/2004 Summer Term (35mm)