Conor McPherson, Tony Award-nominated Irish writer-director and playwright, has given us THE ECLIPSE, a drama with supernatural undercurrents that opened in Los Angeles on March 26, 2010.
This brooding, unsettling film was shot in Cobh, a harbor town on the South Coast of Cork. We are introduced to Michael Farr (Ciaran Hinds), a teacher, writer and father of two children, who is coping with the loss of his wife two years before. He has volunteered at the annual literary festival where he is assigned to look after an attractive author of fiction about ghosts and the supernatural. Lena Morelle has come to the festival at the urging of internationally known novelist, Nicolas Holden (Aidan Quinn) who is in love with her since their brief affair of the previous year. She has learned that he is married and his drunken pleadings disgust her as she tries to discourage his unwanted attentions.
Michael has been having nightmares and seeing and hearing strange things in his home at night. He is eager to tell Lena about his experiences and visits her at the lonely cottage by the sea where she is staying. Taken from the short story, "Table Manners", by Billy Roche, we watch Michael falling in love with Lena who tries to help him with his fears.
The Irish have a rich history of myths and folklore and the existence of ghosts has become a popular idea that transcends time and place. Yeats said that ghosts live in a state "between this life and the next" in which "they are held by some earthly longing or affection, or some duty unfulfilled or anger against the living." Ivan McCollough, the Director of Photography and Emer Reynolds the Film Editor, deserve kudos for designing horrific, other-worldly apparitions that truly startle the viewer who has already been gradually made uneasy by the stark,brooding coastline and dark, threatening clouds over Cobh.
Ciaran Hinds, an award-winning actor with many decades of film and theater credits, portrays Farr with just the right amount of confusion and strength and was judged the best actor at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival for this role. Aidan Quinn has made his mark in films and television and is believable as a spurned, jealous, would-be lover whose life seems to be disintegrating. Iben Hjejle is an empathetic ear and friend for Michael who misreads her warmth for something more.
These three troubled peoples' lives are skillfully interwoven by McPherson to guarantee an engrossing film experience.