Irish films Frank and Calvary shine at Sundance - photos

Irish films Frank and Calvary shine at Sundance - photos

TWO independent Irish films have been warmly received following their respective world premieres at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Lenny Abrahamson's Frank and John Michael McDonagh's Calvary were both screened at the Robert Redford-founded festival in Utah over the weekend.

Abrahamson's Frank stars Michael Fassbender in a giant papier mâché head and is loosely inspired by the late Manchester entertainer Frank Sidebottom.

The feature co-stars Maggie Gylenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson and marks Abrahamson's biggest international film to date following well-received Irish films What Richard Did and Garage.

Among its positive reviews were those of Peter Debruge, chief international critic at Variety, who called the film “a weird and wonderful musical comedy”.

IndieWire called it “bizarrely brilliant” while Screencrush gave the film 9/10The Telegraph also raved about the film giving it a four-star review.

Similarly John Michael McDonagh's Calvary received glowing reviews when it premiered last night.

The film - shot in Ireland in 2013 - sees the second-generation Irish director reunite with Brendan Gleeson following the success of 2011's The Guard.

Gleeson stars as Father James, a good priest who, in the darkness of the confession box, is told that he is to be killed. His crucifixion is booked for the following Sunday, just down on the beach. The priest has a full week to put his own house in order.

McDonagh - brother of playwright and filmmaker Martin - has gathered together an ensemble cast that includes Aidan Gillen, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Domhnall Gleeson, Dylan Moran and Isaach De Bankole.

Justin Chang, chief film critic at Variety, called the film a "masterful follow-up" full of "humor, compassion, despair and grace". The Hollywood Reporter applauded the film as "one to savor", while a four-star review in The Guardian praised the film as a "rich, ripe and altogether delicious whodunnit".

Frank is due for release on May 2 while Calvary is released on April 11.

Below are a selection of images from both film's premieres at Sundance.

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