THE IRISH cousin of filmmaker John Patrick Shanley has leapt to the writer/director’s defence after the trailer for his new movie, Wild Mountain Thyme, came in for criticism.
Much of the condemnation centred on the Irish accents attempted by stars Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan and Christopher Walken.
While Blunt and Walken, England and American respectively, came in for plenty of ribbing, the harshest criticism was reserved for Dornan given that he actually hails from Holyrood in Northern Ireland.
Yet it wasn’t just the accents that came in for a roasting with the general depiction of Ireland as a quaint, old-fashioned country courting criticism with those who actually live there.
Now one of director’s Irish cousins, Brendan Shanley, has leapt to the defence of the film which was branded a “hate crime” by critics online.
Wild Mountain Thyme is based on one of Shanley’s plays Outside Mullingar which, in itself, was based on events that took place on a real farm in Killucan near Mullingar.
The farm was once owned by Shanley’s father, who left for America at the age of 24. Now his brother, Anthony, lives there and according to Brendan is “a little self-conscious" about the response.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Shanley’s cousin Brendan expressed shock at the reaction to the trailer.
"Donald Trump didn't get as good a coverage," he said.
"How can you make a judgment on someone's tone in a trailer?" asked Brendan.
"It's taken out of context. On a film trailer, you will get different accents because that's the mood of [a particular] line.
"But if you listen for the entire film it will settle, and be different. It was the same in the play.
"There's a huge amount talked about the accents. I make furniture, I don't do films but you're not making a film of that magnitude with those actors for an Irish market.
"People in Ireland forget this: it's made for a global [audience]. And as regards Irish wit, I don't look at Mrs Brown's Boys, but it's booming.
"Where fun stops and starts in a film or a television series depends on the individual."
Viewers will be able to decide for themselves once Wild Mountain Thyme is released this coming December.