Wren Boys tells the story of a Catholic Priest, Lalor Roddy (“Grabbers”, “Hunger”), who, on Boxing Day, drives his nephew, Diarmuid Noyes (“Broken Things”, “Chancer”), to prison.
Now this isn’t because his nephew belongs in prison, but rather to visit someone very special in prison. It’s clear, as the pair sit in the waiting room, that something is going on, something we are not yet privy to.
People reading the newspaper are looking at the priest and his nephew, one woman appears to take a photo of them on her phone, starting an argument in the waiting room.
When they finally go through, the reason becomes clear, something I won’t give away here. You think that’s it, you think that is the twist you’ve been waiting for, expecting.
But you are wrong. Writers John Fitzpatrick (“Dog (Short)”) and Harry Lighton (“Sunday Morning Coming Down (Short)”, “Look At Me”) – who also directs – have much more waiting in the wings, there’s another twist, and this isn’t a pleasant one.
As the men are walking away from the prison, Noyes’s phone begins to ring, it’s the person they’ve just been visiting and it looks like he’s in a fight. Of course, this is the twist we’ve been waiting for. No, not quite, all is it not as it seems as Fitzpatrick and Lighton again switch things up on us before delivering the final blow.
Wren Boys is a wonderful short film, a film of its time, perfect for now, the subject matter unflinching, the results shameful.
Both Roddy and Noyes are great in their roles but it’s Lighton who shines, his directing showing a beautiful mastery of the camera, from bleak long-shots to wavy close-ups, it’s a pleasure to watch.
Wren Boys is eligible to be considered for an Oscar for 2019 and I for one, think it should be on the list.