Dancing at Lughnasa (film)

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Dancing at Lughnasa
Dancing at Lughnasa (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPat O'Connor
Screenplay byFrank McGuinness
Based onDancing at Lughnasa
by Brian Friel
Produced byNoel Pearson
CinematographyKenneth MacMillan
Edited byHumphrey Dixon
Music byBill Whelan
Distributed bySony Pictures Classics (United States)
FilmFour Distributors (United Kingdom)[1]
Release date
  • 13 November 1998 (1998-11-13)
Running time
95 minutes
United States
Box office$2,361,632

Dancing at Lughnasa is a 1998 Irish-British-American period drama film adapted from the 1990 Brian Friel play Dancing at Lughnasa, directed by Pat O'Connor.

The film competed in the Venice Film Festival of 1998. It won an Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Female Role by Brid Brennan. It was also nominated for 6 other awards, including the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Feature Film and the Best Actress Award for Meryl Streep.

Cast and characters[edit]

Reception and awards[edit]

Although the film received average reviews (60% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 35 reviews[2]), most critics praised the performances of the entire cast. Janet Maslin, critic of the New York Times said that "Meryl Streep has made many a grand acting gesture in her career, but the way she simply peers out a window in Dancing at Lughnasa ranks with the best. Everything the viewer need know about Kate Mundy, the woman she plays here, is written on that prim, lonely face and its flabbergasted gaze."[3] Peter Travis of Rolling Stone magazine wrote that "a luminous cast reveals long-buried feelings. Meryl Streep finds the expansive soul behind prim schoolteacher Kate. And she is matched by Kathy Burke's bawdy Maggie, Brid Brennan's secretive Agnes, Sophie Thompson's slow-witted Rose and Catherine McCormack's bold Christina, who never married the father of her son."[4] Darrell Johnston, the youngest of the cast was also nominated for a best young actor in a supporting role. A crowning achievement given this was his first real introduction to a Hollywood screen.

Kathy Burke received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Drama from the International Press Academy (Satellite Awards).

Mementos from the filming are on display at the St. Connell's Museum in Glenties.


  1. ^ "Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)". BBFC. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  2. ^ "Dancing at Lughnasa". Rotten Tomoatoes.
  3. ^ "Movie Review – FILM REVIEW; 5 Unmarried Sisters in Postcard Ireland – NYTimes.com". movies.nytimes.com.
  4. ^ "Movie Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 30 November 2008.

External links[edit]