Intermission (film)

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Intermission ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Crowley
Produced by Stephen Woolley
Neil Jordan
Alan Moloney
Written by Mark O'Rowe
Starring Colin Farrell
Cillian Murphy
Kelly Macdonald
Colm Meaney
Shirley Henderson
Music by John Murphy
Cinematography Ryszard Lenczewski
Edited by Lucia Zucchetti
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures (UK)
DreamWorks Pictures (US)
Release dates
29 August 2003 (2003-08-29)
Running time
105 minutes
Country Ireland
Language English
Budget $5,000,000[1]
Box office $4,856,298[1]

Intermission is a 2003 Irish black comedy crime film directed by John Crowley and written by Mark O'Rowe. It tells the story of John (Cillian Murphy) and Deirdre (Kelly Macdonald), a recently separated young couple, and people related to them. The film, set in Dublin, Ireland, has been shot in a documentary-like style, and contains several storylines which cross over one another.


Lehiff (Colin Farrell) is a petty criminal always involved in trouble. Lehiff's nemesis, Garda Detective Jerry Lynch (Colm Meaney) presents himself as a saviour who fights the "scumbags" on Dublin's streets, and enlists the help of Ben Campion (Tomás Ó Súilleabháin), an ambitious film-maker and the bane of his "go-softer" boss, who considers Lynch too nasty a subject to be shown on a mainstream “docusoap” series on Irish terrestrial TV.

While shooting a scene about a traffic accident, Ben is told to focus his attention on Sally (Shirley Henderson), Deirdre's sister, who helped the passengers after the double-decker bus they were on crashed on its side. Sally, who is deeply insecure about her looks, grows bitter when Deirdre flaunts her new boyfriend, Sam (Michael McElhatton), a middle-aged bank manager who has left his wife of 14 years, Noeleen (Deirdre O'Kane), leaving her to question her own self-worth as a woman and wife.

John, Deirdre's ex-boyfriend, is utterly lost without her and is determined to do anything to win her back. Thus, he gets involved in an absurd plan along with Mick (Brían F. O'Byrne), the driver of the bus that crashed, and Lehiff. They kidnap Sam and force him to go to his bank to get some money so that they can demand a ransom. Things go awry when Sam, who has the money, is assaulted by an enraged Noeleen on the street and a couple of police officers appear. Mick and John flee the scene without their money.

Mick becomes obsessed with taking revenge on Philip (Taylor Molloy), the boy who had lobbed the stone into the windscreen and made him swerve and crash the bus, which resulted in Mick getting fired. Things do not go quite his way, and he ends up learning a bitter lesson. As for Lehiff, Lynch corners him in an open field, and the scene is set for a confrontation that ends in an unexpected way.

As the credits roll, Noeleen and Sam are back together in their house watching television. She is sitting purposely on the remote control and bullying him into changing the channels by hand.



Technical details[edit]

  • IFCO Rating: 15PG (cinema) / 15 (video)
  • BBFC Rating: 18
  • MPAA Rating: R


The movie earned €2.5 million at the Irish box office, briefly becoming the most successful independent Irish film.[2]

The film was well received by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an aggregate rating of 73% based on 93 reviews, with the critical consensus describing the film as "An edgy and energetic ensemble story".[3]

Noted critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper gave the film good reviews.[4] Roeper described it as "a likable film about nasty people".[5]

Patrick Condren became the first Irishman to be nominated at the Taurus World Stunt Awards following his work in the film. In the biggest single stunt ever filmed in Ireland, a double-decker bus was flipped 20m into the air.[6]

Box office[edit]

Intermission took $5 million to make, but it didn't do well in the box office, grossing just $4.8 million worldwide.


  1. ^ a b Intermission at Box Office Mojo. . Retrieved on 9 October 2009.
  2. ^ Loach film breaks Irish box-office records Kerr, Aine. The Irish Times (1921–Current File) [Dublin, Ireland] 8 August 2006: 3.
  3. ^ Intermission at Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 9 October 2009.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ McNamara, James. Intermission impossible!, The Sun, 26 April 2004

External links[edit]