County Kilburn

County Kilburn


Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey Brown

Kilburn in London has come to be known as County Kilburn on account of its large Irish population.

Mickey, the young barman at one of Kilburn's many pubs, feels his life is going nowhere. He's decided to quit his job at the Waggon and Horses and return home, to take up a job on a TV show. Unfortunately, because his boss has just had a heart attack, he's stuck minding the pub on his own for the week.

And with regulars like foul-mouthed sexual marauder Black Jack and time-locked 80s Billy that's going to be hard. Especially when one of Billy's teenage lust objects, Unattainable Sue, turns up and a Priest starts picketing the pub after accidentally overhearing Mickey's sexual fantasies about the Virgin Mary.

County Kilburn has the feel of a debut film. Eager to please, it goes for easy laughs, reinforcing rather than challenging stereotypes. These Irish are sexually and religiously repressed alcoholics, yet also capable of dispensing sage advice at just the right moment.

You suspect that the filmmakers were more bothered about getting the right music on the soundtrack (more often than not The Pogues) or in showing off a bit of what they can do - a bit of time-lapse here, a Sergio Leone corrida pastiche there - to worry unduly about such things.

The characters are quite nicely drawn, however, and convincingly brought to life by the performers. I particularly liked the law student turned navvy who successfully argues his case that Mickey cannot prevent him from using the public house toilets as a public convenience.

County Kilburn may be instantly forgettable, but it is fun while it lasts. As a feel-good Irish comedy, it will probably appeal especially to the Roddy Doyle and Father Ted crowd.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Feel-good comedy about an Irish barman in a dead end job.

Read more County Kilburn reviews:

Angus Wolfe Murray **1/2

Director: Elliot Hegarty

Writer: Elliot Hegarty

Starring: Ciaran McMenamin, Rick Warden, John Bowe, Simon Sherlock, Georgia Mackenzie, Kay D'Arcy, Patrick Duggan, Tony Bluto, Norman Rodway, Jim Barclay, Paul O'Grady

Year: 2000

Runtime: 82 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2000

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