The Butcher Boy (1997)
February 28, 2024 8:37 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Francie (Eamonn Owens) has a disastrous childhood and retreats into television and movies to escape the pain. His mother (Aisling O'Sullivan) is suicidal, and his alcoholic father (Stephen Rea) has little to do with him. Francie's tendency to project violent fantasies onto reality lands him in reform school, where he is sexually abused. Wildly looking to hold someone responsible for all the trauma visited on him, Francie targets his neighbor, Mrs. Nugent (Fiona Shaw).

Also starring Alan Boyle, Ian Hart, Peter Gowen, Sean McGinley, John Kavanagh, Andrew Fullerton, Rosaleen Linehan, Anita Reeves, Brendan Gleeson, and Shuhada' Sadaqat (Sinéad O'Connor) as the Virgin Mary.

Directed by Neil Jordan. Screenplay by Patrick McCabe, Neil Jordan. Based on the novel of the same name by Patrick McCabe. Produced by Redmond Morris, Stephen Woolley for The Geffen Film Company. Cinematography by Adrian Biddle. Edited by Tony Lawson. Music by Elliot Goldenthal.

77% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sinéad O'Connor plays the Holy Virgin Mother in this and is so luminous, it's hardly fair to Mary.

This is one of the all-time great unreliable narrator stories on film, as Frankie is convinced he's recounting a plucky nostalgic yarn about best buds in Ireland, when really it's about the slow unravelling of a damaged and dangerous mentally ill person.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:19 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]

One of the best book to film adaptations I've seen, and the book is my absolute favourite. Not for the faint hearted, by any means, though. Patrick McCabe is an astonishing writer and Neil Jordan did him proud, even though the time line had to be played around with.
posted by h00py at 5:59 AM on February 29

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