What Before Sunrise did for Vienna, John Carney’s Once does for Dublin. The city is the soft-focus backdrop of one of the most widely-loved romances of the last decade such as the twilit Grafton Street where characters Girl and Guy first meet. The success of the film has generated Simpsons appearances and spin-off musicals, but the intimacy of the original film still remains.
An ensemble cast that includes Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, Kelly McDonald and Colm Meaney romping through a Dublin cast as a criminal's playground, as double-decker buses capsize and kidnappings abound in John Crowley's hilarious farce.
The Commitments/The Snapper/The Van
Roddy Doyle's novels have provided fertile ground for adaptation, all based in late 80s Dublin society. The charm of Doyle's misfit characters shine through in this Stephen Frears-directed trilogy – the perfect introduction to Dublin's sense of humour.
I Went Down
If Intermission (above) tickled your fancy, be sure to also check out Paddy Breathnach’s I Went Down, a hilarious Dublin crime caper made back in 1997. The film follows mobster Bunny Kelly – played by iconic Irish actor Brendan Gleeson – and the very unlucky Git Hynes (Peter McDonald) as they form an unlikely friendship!
Ordinary Decent Criminal
Loosely based on the life of Irish crime boss Martin Cahill, Thaddeus O'Sullivan’s Ordinary Decent Criminal boasts an all-star cast, including Kevin Spacey and Dubliner Colin Farrell. This hilarious comedy sees our anti-hero start to lose his cool when he steals a priceless Caravaggio painting – that he’s then unable to get rid of!
My Left Foot
Starring Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis in one of his most striking and memorable roles, My Left Foot tells the true story of Christy Brown, a writer and artist born with cerebral palsy. Directed by Jim Sheridan and also starring Brenda Fricker, the film won big at the 1990 Academy Awards, with both leads and the director picking up gongs.
A rom-com next; Gerard Stembridge’s About Adam stars American actress Kate Hudson alongside Dubliner Stuart Townsend in the titular role as a handsome young Dubliner who seduces four sisters! This quirky comedy uses an unusual and engaging narrative form, whereby several scenes are repeated numerous times but from the viewpoint of different characters.
Everybody's favourite James Joyce short story, ‘The Dead’, was extended into a feature length film by the late John Huston. The last film by the great director retains the melancholy mood of the story itself, the only successful adaptation of Joyce's famously difficult-to-translate work for the big screen. While set in 1904, Georgian Dublin and famous landmarks like the Gresham Hotel are beautifully shot under a layer of snow.
A Film With Me In It
Next up, a must-see for fans of the brilliant Irish comic Dylan Moran – A Film With Me In It. Ian Fitzgibbon’s black comedy follows the very unfortunate Mark (played by the film’s writer Mark Doherty) and Pierce (Moran); two friends who unluckily find themselves surrounded by corpses. Yep, you read that right!
While actually set in Liverpool, Lewis Gilbert's Oscar-nominated film is secretly Dublin through and through. Both Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin are the principal settings for the film, plus a host of other spots like The Stag's Head pub and Dublin Airport: have fun trying to spot every giveaway sign that you're really watching Dublin.