Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
The Perfect Night In
Great Movies From Warner Bros.
Create A Short Film
With the BFI & O2
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Empire Podcast 177: Ron Perlman, Tom Hardy and Brian Helgeland
We won't lie, things get pretty Kray Kray
Ron Perlman Talks Hellboy III
Exclusive: 'He has to take down civilisation...'
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys Offer New Clues To The Film
And Kylo Ren talks at last...
Straight Outta Compton Sequel To Focus On Death Row Records
Producer L. Leigh Savidge adapting his documentary
Andrea Riseborough Signs Up For Bloodline
Joining John Leguizamo as another new cast regular
Selena Gomez Set For Bad Neighbours 2
Playing Chloe Grace Moretz's sorority rival
Stephen Rider Joins Daredevil Season 2
Playing District Attorney Blake Tower
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
17 April 2014
Cannes Official Selection 2014 Announced!
Cronenberg! Loach! Egoyan! Leigh! Dardennes!
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Jimmy's Hall (2014)
Empire Star Rating
The Spirit Of '45 (2013)
Empire Star Rating
The Angels' Share (2012)
Empire Star Rating
Route Irish (2011)
Empire Star Rating
Looking for Eric (2009)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2014: Jimmy's Hall Review
Ken Loach's Irish drama gets the once-over

22 May 2014  |  Written by Anna Smith  

submit to reddit

Jimmy's Hall

Church and community clash in Ken Loach’s period drama Jimmy's Hall. Set in '20s and '30s Ireland, it stars a charismatic Barry Ward as real-life Irish communist leader Jimmy Gralton. We first meet Jimmy as the returning local hero, back from a decade’s exile in the States and enjoying modest celebrity status in his small town, what with his newly sophisticated ways and his possession of a record player. It transpires that Jimmy was forced on the run after angering the religious powers that be. His sin? Building a village hall that encouraged dancing, art and other things considered dangerously communist.

Reluctantly agreeing to rebuild the hall, Jimmy finds himself clashing with the bible-bashing Father Sheridan (Jim Norton), who is prone to preaching against the sins of dancing and the inevitable fornication that follows in a pulpit scene that feels awfully familiar... Yep, Footloose. (Now there’s a movie we never thought we’d ever connect to a Ken Loach film).

But there are distinct thematic similarities: locals just want to have innocent dances, priest sees it as a threat, singling out our ring-leading hero from the big bad city. There’s also a young girl banned from the hall by her religious father, and several dance numbers, although this being the '30s, Jimmy is more about the New York jazz. And, of course, this is a darker, more political affair – Jimmy’s liberty and life are at stake and some disturbing scenes hit hard.

On the whole it’s a touching, affectionate character portrait and a hearty plea for communal living, though the third act gets a bit muddled. Jimmy’s Hall isn’t as structurally slick as the likes of Sweet Sixteen and Looking For Eric, and there’s no big pay-off either. But it’s an enjoyable, beautifully-shot tribute with a strong turn from Ward and the supporting cast, most notably Sherlock’s Andrew Scott as the younger priest who’s more tolerant of the locals, ahem, cutting loose.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Cannes 2014: First Look At The Palme-tipped Mommy
Can Xavier Dolan become the d'Or daddy?
Alfonso Cuarón May Wrangle Fantastic Beasts
Update: He won't tackle the Potter prequel


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Meets The Stars Of Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
On the Sundance smash, bedroom posters and Nick Offerman

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Wes Craven: Film By Film
Empire celebrates the late, great horror director

My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)