The Guard (2011 film)
|Directed by||John Michael McDonagh|
|Written by||John Michael McDonagh|
|Edited by||Chris Gill|
|Box office||$21.2 million|
The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success. Both Gleeson and Cheadle received acclaim for their performances, with Gleeson receiving a Golden Globe Award nomination. McDonagh was in turn nominated for a BAFTA Award for his writing achievement. It is the most successful independent Irish film of all time in terms of Irish box-office receipts, overtaking The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006), which previously held this status.
Sergeant Gerry Boyle is an officer of the Garda Síochána in Connemara in the west of Ireland. He is crass and confrontational, regularly indulging in drugs and alcohol even while on duty. He is also shown to have a softer side, showing concern for his ailing mother, Eileen.
Boyle and his new subordinate, Aidan McBride, investigate a murder, with evidence apparently pointing to an occult serial killer. Shortly after, Boyle attends a briefing by FBI agent Wendell Everett, sent to liaise with the Garda in hunting down four Irish drug traffickers, led by Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, who is believed to be awaiting a massive seaborne delivery of cocaine from Jamaica. Boyle recognises one of the men in Everett's presentation as the victim of the murder he and McBride had been investigating. McBride pulls over a car driven by Sheehy and his lieutenants Clive Cornell and Liam O'Leary and is shot dead. McBride's wife, Gabriela, reports McBride's disappearance to Boyle, who promises to look into it.
The strait-laced Everett suggests that he and the unorthodox Boyle team up to track down Sheehy and his men. Everett makes the rounds, encountering Irish-speaking residents who pretend not to understand English rather than violate the Code of silence towards law enforcement in Irish culture, Boyle has a sexual encounter with a pair of prostitutes at a hotel in town. On his way back from the hotel, Boyle spots McBride's Garda car at a "suicide hotspot" along the coast, but does not believe that McBride killed himself. McBride's wife, Gabriela, an immigrant from Croatia, reports him missing and tells Boyle that McBride is gay, and that she married him to obtain an Irish visa as well as to make McBride "look respectable". Meeting Everett at a local Irish pub, Boyle notices a CCTV camera and remembers that the original suspect in the murder case claimed to be frequenting the very same establishment at the time of the killing. Looking over the footage from the time of the murder, they see that the suspect's alibi is valid – and Everett also spots Sheehy and Cornell at the pub at the same time. Meanwhile, Cornell delivers a payoff to the Garda inspectors to keep them off the case, but Sheehy believes that Boyle will not be so easily swayed, after he meets with Boyle to half-heartedly attempt blackmail and then to offer a bribe, which is refused.
Tipped off by a young boy named Eugene, Boyle discovers a cache of weapons hidden in the marshes by the IRA and arranges its return to an IRA member. Shortly after having her last wish to hear a live pub band fulfilled, Boyle's mother commits suicide by overdosing on pills. Meeting at the bar again, Everett tells Boyle that Garda sources indicate Sheehy's shipment will be coming into County Cork and that he is leaving to investigate. Returning home, Boyle is confronted in his living room by O'Leary. Boyle pulls a gun and kills O'Leary, then calls Everett to tell him that the Cork lead is a decoy arranged by corrupt officers. Boyle drives to the local dock where Sheehy's vessel is berthed and Sheehy's men are unloading the cocaine. Everett arrives and is persuaded to give Boyle covering fire as he moves to arrest Sheehy and Cornell. Boyle kills Cornell before leaping onto the boat to deal with Sheehy. Everett's gunfire sets the boat alight. Boyle shoots Sheehy and leaves him for dead in the main cabin as the boat explodes.
The next day, Everett looks out on the water where the boat sank, believing Boyle to be dead. Eugene, standing nearby, mentions that Boyle was a good swimmer, having claimed to have been placed fourth at the 1988 Summer Olympics, a claim that Everett had dismissed. A young photographer comments that it would be easy enough to look up. Everett remembers Boyle's remark that Sheehy's backers would not forget Boyle's actions, and that Boyle would have to disappear.
- Brendan Gleeson as Sergeant Gerry Boyle
- Don Cheadle as FBI Agent Wendell Everett
- Mark Strong as Clive Cornell
- Liam Cunningham as Francis Sheehy-Skeffington
- Fionnula Flanagan as Eileen Boyle
- Michael Óg Lane as Eugene Moloney
- David Wilmot as Liam O'Leary
- Sarah Greene as Sinéad Mulligan
- Darren Healy as Jimmy Moody
- Rory Keenan as Garda Aidan McBride
- Dominique McElligott as Aoife O'Carroll
- Katarina Čas as Gabriela McBride
- Dermot Healy as old farmer
- Pat Shortt as Colum Hennessy
- Laurence Kinlan as young photographer
- Wale Ojo as Doctor Oleyuwo
Film producers include Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez-Marengo, Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with executive producers Paul Brett, Don Cheadle, Martin McDonagh (brother of John Michael), David Nash, Ralph Kamp, Lenore Zerman and associate producer Elizabeth Eves. Director John Michael McDonagh is known for his screenplay for the 2003 film Ned Kelly and as writer/director of the 2000 film The Second Death. Cinematographer Larry Smith is known for his work on Eyes Wide Shut and production designer John-Paul Kelly for his work on Venus.
Principal filming began on 29 October 2009, in Leitir Móir (Lettermore) County Galway. Filming took place over a six-week period in Connemara, Leitir Móir, Leitir Mealláin (Lettermullen), An Spidéal, and Bearna with some scenes for filming in Wicklow and Dublin. Involved companies are Reprisal Films and Element Pictures in association with Prescience, Aegis Film Fund, UK Film Council and Crescendo Productions, with the participation of An Bord Scannán na hÉireann (Irish Film Board).
International sales were handled by Metropolis Films and the film was released by Element Pictures Distribution in Ireland, Optimum Releasing in the United Kingdom, Sony Pictures Classics in the United States and Alliance Films in Canada.
The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 94% approval rating with an average rating of 7.65/10 based on 134 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "A violent, crackerjack comedy with a strong Irish flavor and an eminently likable Brendan Gleeson in the main role." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 78 out of 100, based on reviews from 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
In The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy wrote: "Scabrous, profane, violent, verbally adroit and very often hilarious, this twisted and exceptionally accomplished variation on the buddy-cop format is capped by a protean performance by Brendan Gleeson a defiantly iconoclastic West of Ireland policeman." Vanity Fair's John Lopez wrote: "So far, The Guard has been the most thoroughly enjoyable film experience at Sundance, a nice change of pace from the anomie, alienated angst and melancholy of other films." In Screen International, David D'Arcy wrote: "As a director, McDonagh avoids the grand gesture and focuses on his web of odd characters that call to mind the comedies of Preston Sturges." Justin Chang of Variety wrote: "The film making crackles with energy, from Chris Gill's crisp editing and Calexico's ever-inventive score to d.p. Larry Smith's dynamic camerawork, alternating between bright, almost candy-coloured interiors and shots of Galway's grey, rugged landscape."
In The Times, Wendy Ide wrote: "Without doubt the strongest debut film of the year so far, this sly, witty and provocative Irish black comedy is an exceptionally funny crowd-pleaser and a playful cine-literate exercise, laced with arcane movie references... Gleeson must be thanking whatever guardian angel oversees his career for the brothers McDonagh giving him two of his meatiest roles yet." Georgie Hobbs of Little White Lies wrote: "Unexpectedly hilarious, The Guard is the triumphant directorial debut of Ned Kelly screenwriter (and brother of In Bruges director Martin), John Michael McDonagh... This confident film knows full well how funny it is, daring to provoke with unfettered 'unPCness' a-plenty."
|Award / Film Festival||Year||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Golden Globe Award||2012||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Brendan Gleeson||Nominated|||
|BAFTA Award||2012||Best Original Screenplay||John Michael McDonagh||Nominated|||
|Australian Film Critics Association Award||2012||Best Overseas Film (English-Language)||The Guard||Nominated|||
|Berlin International Film Festival||2011||Best Debut Film - Honorable Mention||The Guard||Won|||
|BET Award||2012||Best Actor||Don Cheadle||Nominated|||
|British Independent Film Award||2011||Best Actor in a British Independent Film||Brendan Gleeson||Nominated|||
|Best Screenplay||John Michael McDonagh||Nominated|
|Douglas Hickox Award||Nominated|
|Black Reel Award||2012||Best Supporting Actor||Don Cheadle||Won|||
|Casting Society of America||2012||Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Feature - Studio or Independent Comedy||Jina Jay||Nominated|||
|Crime Thriller Award||2012||The Film Dagger||The Guard||Nominated|||
|Dinard British Film Festival||2011||Audience Award||John Michael McDonagh
|Coup de Coeur||Won|
|Kodak Award for Best Cinematography||Larry Smith
|Silver Hitchcock||The Guard||Won|
|Evening Standard British Film Award||2011||Peter Sellers Award for Comedy||The Guard||Won|||
|Best Actor||Brendan Gleeson||Won|
|Best Screenplay||John Michael McDonagh||Won|
|NAACP Image Award||2012||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture||Don Cheadle||Nominated|||
|Irish Film and Television Award||2012||Best Film||Chris Clark, Flora Fernandez Marengo, Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe||Won|||
|Best Director - Film||John Michael McDonagh||Won|
|Best Script - Film||John Michael McDonagh||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress - Film||Fionnula Flanagan||Won|
|Best Actor - Film||Brendan Gleeson||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor - Film||Liam Cunningham||Nominated|
|Best International Actor||Don Cheadle||Nominated|
|Best Production Design (Film/TV Drama)||John Paul Kelly||Nominated|
|Best Sound (Film/TV Drama)||Robert Flanagan, Michelle Cunniffe and Niall Brady||Nominated|
|London Film Critics Circle Award||2011||British Film of the Year||The Guard||Nominated|||
|Breakthrough British Filmmaker||John Michael McDonagh||Nominated|
|British Actor of the Year||Brendan Gleeson||Nominated|
|San Diego Film Critics Society Award||2011||Best Actor||Brendan Gleeson||Nominated|||
|Sarajevo Film Festival||2011||Audience Award for Best Feature Film||The Guard||Won|||
|Satellite Award||2011||Best Director||John Michael McDonagh||Nominated|||
|Best Actor - Motion Picture||Brendan Gleeson||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||John Michael McDonagh||Nominated|
|Best Editing||Chris Gill||Won|
|Sundance Film Festival||2011||World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic||The Guard||Nominated|||
|Valladolid International Film Festival||2011||Best Actor||Brendan Gleeson||Won|
- "THE GUARD (2011) (15)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- "The Guard (2011)". Box Office Mojo. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
- "The Guard (2011) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
- "Cheadle & Gleeson Join Forces For 'The Guard'". IFTN. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
- Jaafar, Ali (4 November 2009). "Gleeson, Cheadle join 'Guard'". Variety. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
- "'The Guard' Topples 'Barley' to Become No. 1 Indie Irish Film". IFTN. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- The Guard (2011) Script
- Leen Engelen, Kris Van Heuckelom. European Cinema after the Wall: Screening East-West Mobility, 2013. P. 24
- "The Guard (2011) - IMDb". Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- Cooper, Sarah (2 November 2009). "Brendan Gleeson joins Irish comedy thriller The Guard". Screen International. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
- Hayden, Esther (4 November 2009). "Gleeson and Cheadle line up for new movie". Bray People. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
- "The Guard (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
- "The Guard". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- McCarthy, Todd,"Brendan Gleeson Shines in The Guard. Hollywood Reporter review of 27th Sundance Film Festival", HollywoodReporter.com, 21 January 2011
- Lopez, John, "Park City Thrills to The Guard. Vanity Fair review of 27th Sundance Film Festival", VanityFair.com, 23 Jan 2011
- D'Arcy, David,"The Guard. Screen International review of Sundance 2011", ScreenDaily.com, 21 January 2011
- Chang, Justin (21 January 2011). "The Guard". Variety.
- Ide, Wendy, "The Guard at the Edinburgh Film Festival", TheTimes.co.uk, 16 June 2011
- Hobbs, Georgie (28 February 2011). "Berlin International Film Festival 2011 – Round Up: Part II". Littlewhitelies.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012.
- Clarke, Donald (16 December 2011). "Fassbender and Gleeson nominated for Golden Globes". Irish Times.
- "Fassbender, McDonagh in BAFTA Race". IFTN. 17 January 2012.
- "AFCA 2012 Writing & Film Award Winners". AFCA Ward.
- 61st Berlin International Film Festival February 10 - 20, 2011 V, accessed 1 November 2019
- "BET Awards 2012 Nominees Announced". The Hollywood Reporter. 22 May 2012.
- "2012 British Independent Film Awards Winners". Hitfix. 9 December 2012.
- "2012 Black Reel Awards". Black Reel Awards. 10 February 2012.
- "2012 CSA Artios Awards Winners - October 29, 2012". Casting Society of America. 30 October 2012.
- Jarossi, Robin (19 October 2012). "Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2012 Winners". Crime Time Preview. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- Festival du Film - Dinard www.festivaldufilm-dinard.com Retrieved 7 September 2013[dead link]
- (2 March 2012). Evening Standard British Film Awards 2012 Winners: Michael Fassbender, Olivia Colman Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
- Allin, Olivia (18 February 2012). "". ABC News. Retrieved 7 September 2013.[dead link]
- (17 October 2012) FILM CATEGORIES: BEST FILM IFTA Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- Mueller, Matt (20 January 2012). "London Critics Circle Give 'The Artist' and 'A Separation' Three Film Awards Each UPDATED". IndieWire.
- Stone, Sasha (14 December 2011) San Diego Film Critics Award The Artist Best Picture, Refn Best Director www.awardsdaily.com, accessed 1 November 2019.
- "17th Sarajevo Film Festival Awards". Sarajevo Film Festival. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- 2011 Satellite Winners, December 2011.
- Jay A. Fernandez; Daniel Miller (29 January 2011). "SUNDANCE: 2011 Festival Award Winners". The Hollywood Reporter blog Risky Business. Archived from the original on 30 January 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011.