New York City, Jan 12 – Heartwarming, witty, and wonderfully sweet, An Irish Goodbye conveys the nuance of two characters caught in the middle of grief while also tackling what some people would consider an unusual brotherhood. Lorcan, played by James Martin, is taken aback by his mother’s death but also is afraid he will lose his brother Turlough. Meanwhile, his brother, played by Seamus O’Hara, struggles to find a way to care for his brother who has Down syndrome. Turlough wants to send Lorcan off to his aunt so he can return to London and just move on.
It is no wonder that this short film has been shortlisted for the BAFTA Film Awards and the Academy Awards. It manages to explore so many complicated subjects in such a short time while also delivering truly charming characters. It can be hard to find honest and well-meaning portrayals of “inter-abled” relationships. So many films show a caretaker who outshines the character with a disability, who is only defined by their struggles. Often, characters like Lorcan would be reduced to tropes surrounding Down syndrome. However, An Irish Goodbye changes everything by making sure that the core of the story is a relationship between brothers.
James Martin as Lorcan in An Irish Goodbye
Lorcan feels like such a wonderfully fleshed-out character, even when people misunderstand him. He is mourning for his mother but also for the previous relationship he’s had with his brother. He also has a memorable personality of his own: he is easily the funniest character and approaches everything in an honest and sweet manner. Turlough finds that maybe he underestimated Lorcan and hasn’t opened himself up to seeing him as he is. Seeing both brothers slowly understand and laugh with each other, in their unique way, will make anyone fall in love with these characters.