A SELECTION of classic Irish films have been added to Netflix.
The latest batch of new movies and TV shows has brought a trio of favourites either set in Ireland or starring actors from the island to the streaming service.
Angela’s Ashes, Atonement and Schindler’s List are all available to watch now and represent essential viewing for anyone with an interest in the Irish dramatic arts.
Based on the best-selling memoir of Irish-American writer Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes chronicles the experiences of a young Frankie who, after returning to Ireland from his home in Brooklyn, New York, must contend with life in the poverty-stricken slums of pre-war Limerick.
A harrowing and brilliantly-realised depiction of 1940s Ireland, Angela’s Ashes also features a standout turn from Robert Carlyle as Frankie’s Northern Irish father Malachy, who faces prejudice at every turn in the Republic while also contending with his own alcoholism.
While neither set in Ireland nor depicting Irish characters, Joe Wright’s stunning adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name did serve as an early showcase of Saoirse Ronan’s incredible talent.
Born in New York but raised in Howth, Ronan showed herself to be an undoubted star-in-the-making as Briony Tallis, the 13-year-old aspiring writer who, following a serious crime on the family estate, makes a serious of accusations that end up having lasting and damaging repercussions for all involved.
An absorbing and beautifully shot drama Atonement sees Ronan holding her own alongside the likes of James McAvoy and Keira Knightley and is mesmerising from start to finish.
Another film lacking in any Irish-led setting or plot, Schindler’s List warrants inclusion on this list for the career-best performance of the Northern-Irish lead, Liam Neeson.
A little-known actor at the time, Neeson caught the eye of Spielberg during a Broadway production of Anna Christie. The rest, as they say, is history with Neeson literally growing into the role of Oskar Schindler by drinking copious amounts of Guinness to gain the necessary weight to better resemble the German industrialist.
An undoubtedly difficult, yet necessary watch, Neeson pulls off a near-perfect performance as Schindler a man who began the war as a Nazi and profiteer, before his exposure to the horrors of the Kraków ghetto and the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp convinced him to save the lives of 1,200 Jewish workers who would otherwise have died.
Nominated for a Best Actor Oscar only to lose out to Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, Schindler’s List nevertheless represents the pinnacle of Ballymena star’s career and is arguably Spielberg's best film.