Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Country: Ireland

Year: 2007

Duration: 1.25

Languages: English

Original name: Garage

Category: , , ,

Lenny Abrahamson’s award-winning breakthrough film Garage tells a delicate story about a village community in the Irish countryside and about man on the outskirts of that community. These are fitting ingredients for delicious comedy, but the way Abrahamson and screenwriter Mark O’Halloran approach the subject is much more insightful.

Josie has spent his entire adult life working as a janitor for a run-down gas station. His social skills are limited, and he is possibly a bit lonely – but, at the same time, also persistently optimistic and even happy in his own way. In the course of one summer his simple life is swept with new nuances and everything changes.

The heart of the film is the controlled leading performance by renowned Irish comedian Pat Shortt. Here, he is like a clown without a trick, as director Abrahamson has noted. Shortt conveys Josie’s inner confusion with subtle expressions and gestures. After all, how could Josie fully comprehend the silent social agreements adults share, when he has only now experienced his first infatuation as well as a slightly unusual first friendship. As the story progresses, one gets a sense that maybe there is no place for someone like Josie in the community he grew up in. Ultimately, Garage is a heart-rending depiction of casual cruelty towards those who are a little different. (Milja Mikkola)