American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
As nearly as I can tell, "Waiting for Dublin" is having its world premiere Friday in (can you guess?) Chicago, Boston and New York. The timing could not be better. The St. Patrick's Day parades will be over in time for an afternoon matinee. And if you are the kind of person who marches in or attends the parade, you may enjoy this film. Other kinds of people, not so much.
"Waiting for Dublin" is like a time capsule, a film that, in every detail, could have been made in the 1940s and starred Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Maureen O'Hara and Edmund Gwenn as dear old Father Quinlan, who has the narcolepsy something fierce. It takes place in an Irish hamlet that has one telephone, in the post office that is also the pub. A horse and cart is the favored mode of transport, especially because there is no petrol during wartime.
The year is 1945. The hero is Mike (Andrew Keegan), an American pilot. He and his co-pilot Twickers (Hugh O'Conor) run out of fuel and make an emergency landing in Ireland, where they are taken in, given lodging and welcomed at the pub. The village has another guest, the German pilot Kluge (Guido De Craene). Ireland is officially neutral, and so such visitors are welcome, so long as they are not English, of course.
The town is inhabited, as the old movie rules required, by only colorful eccentrics, who spend all of their time in the pub waiting to be entertained by strangers. They move as a unit, decide as a unit, observe as a unit and go to Sunday mass as a unit, to see whether Father Quinlan can get as far as Introibo ad altare Dei before falling asleep.