01 February, 2012
by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
Many films in the past few decades have reflected the “Irish troubles” but a new film that made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival is one of the finest on the subject in years. SHADOW DANCER by UK debut dramatic director James Marsh (who won an Oscar for his documentary MAN WIRE and was represented this year by the celebrated doc PROJECT NIM) is a provocative thriller about one woman’s incredible fight to protect her son while being forced to betray those she loves. ATO Pictures has picked up North American rights to the film, set in 1990s Belfast, as a historic peace accord between the IRA and the British government is being promulgated, and undermined by a radical wing of the Irish nationalist organization. The film stars Andrea Riseborough (fresh from her starring role in Madonna’s historic pastiche W.E.) as the Irish lass who faces a staggering decision and divided loyalties within her IRA family and Oscar nominee Clive Owen as the British investigator who tries to unravel the mysteries of the plot while keeping his professional distance from a woman he is clearly drawn to. The film also co-stars Gillian Anderson, Aidan Gillen and Domhnall Gleeson. SHADOW DANCER was written by Tom Bradby and is based on his novel which he wrote 12 years ago after spending two years as an ITN political correspondent in Belfast. The film made its world premiere in the Premieres section of Sundance before heading next week to the 2012 Berlin Film Festival.