Dancing at Lughnasa (film)

For the play, see Dancing at Lughnasa.
Dancing at Lughnasa

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Pat O'Connor
Produced by Gerrit Folsom (line producer)
Jane Barclay (executive producer)
Sharon Harel
Noel Pearson (producer)
Rod Stoneman (executive producer - Bórd Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board)
Written by Brian Friel (play)
Frank McGuinness (screenplay)
Starring Meryl Streep
Michael Gambon
Catherine McCormack
Kathy Burke
Sophie Thompson
Brid Brennan
Rhys Ifans
Lorcan Cranitch
John Kavanagh
Marie Mullen
Narrated by Gerard McSorley
Music by Bill Whelan
Cinematography Kenneth MacMillan
Edited by Humphrey Dixon
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • 13 November 1998 (1998-11-13)
Running time
95 minutes
Country Ireland
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Box office $2,361,632

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

The movie 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

Reception and awards

Although the film received average reviews (65% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes), 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."[1] 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."[2] 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).

A display of mementos from the filming is on display at the St. Connell's Museum in Glenties.


  1. Maslin, Janet, 1998. The New York Times, Movie Review of Dancing at Lughnasa, 13 November 1998
  2. Travis, Peter. 1998. Rolling Stone Magazine, Movie Review of Dancing at Lughnasa

External links

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