From the stage, following the showing of the film, Branagh thanked the organist for such a grand introduction. He praised Chicago for its “creativity, vitality and generosity.” He also thanked the audience, which had just viewed a highlights reel of Branagh’s many other films, movies which have yielded 5 Oscar nominations in a variety of categories. Said Branagh, “Thank you for watching that reel entitled ‘the history of my waistband.’”
Branagh shared that he had been thinking about making this particular film for half a century. “It’s about something which happened to me when I was 9 years old.” Branagh revisited “the Troubles,” when Protestants and Catholics blew each other up over Catholic Ireland’s desire to leave the United Kingdom.
在贝尔法斯特的宽屏鸟瞰图之后，长期摄影师Haris Zambarloukos（“ Thor”）用活色拍摄，这部电影恢复到了黑白，并在屏幕上拍摄了特定的起始日期：1969年8月15日男子在7月20日在月球上行走,1969年，大约一个月前。
Change and uncertainty were in the air and, for Branagh’s family, they would soon make the difficult decision to leave their family and friends behind and move to England.(One wag remarked that it was this move to England that allowed Branagh to lose the thick Northern Ireland accent which American audiences are going to have to deal with. Some have said the film needs sub-titles, much to the amusement of the Irish.)
Branagh recalled, onstage, during the Q&A, how the onset of the pandemic, which also brought fear, chaos and uncertainty, seemed some sort of signal that it was time to make this film. Because the pandemic was raging worldwide, extensive time, effort and money was devoted to keeping the crew safe from the dreaded disease. Not only did the cast operate more-or-less in a bubble, by staying in the same hotel, which led to comraderie, but, also, to the building of sets based on Branagh’s remembrances of his childhood home, complete with barging into similar homes whose owners had volunteered to let the production crew measure each room so that it could be reproduced. (Branagh’s childhood street of row homes was gone.) As he said on Thursday, October 21英石，在57Th芝加哥国际电影节放映：“在现实世界中，在库维德时代，这将是太成问题了。”
The director also shared the personal disclosure, “I could never have made this while my folks were alive.” He showed it first to his brother and sister (in real life, Branagh is one of three children), who approved. Memories of having to sign in and out of their row home in Tiger’s Bay and the way the street’s cobblestones had been ripped up to make into a barricade, leaving only sand in the previously paved street, added to the audience’s knowledge. (“I went in for tea, and when I came out, the street was just sand.”)
Some have complained that the couple portraying Branagh’s parents, Jamie Dornan (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) and Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”), were too good-looking to be “real” parents, but, again, Branagh shared that, in the eyes of a nine-year-old boy, his parents were almost godlike figures. Certainly the two stars have great onscreen chemistry and are extremely easy on the eyes. In one scene, Jamie Dornan sings—again. He’s been singing—and singing well—in other films of late, and, as he sings “Open Up Your Eyes” with flair, just enjoy it.
Director Branagh shared with the audience that the costume/make-up people, in working with the handsome actor and the beautiful leading lady, took them aside and showed them still shots of “the look” envisioned for the duo. There were many shots of a tousled-looking Brigitte Bardot and a young Marlon Brando—only this young Brando can really sing. Again, the explanation from the director is that, in a child’s eyes, loving parents are quite handsome and larger-than-life.
代理这个奖项将滚滚而来for Dame Judy Dench, who has collaborated with Branagh over six times. She plays young Kenneth/Buddy’s Granny and her husband of half a century is played by Cilian Hinds, who is equally good. The pair are definitely in line for nominations, and newcomer Jude Hill as the nine-year-old protagonist carries the film on his slim shoulders quite effectively. He’s off to a great start.
Branagh both wrote and directed this semi-autobiographical tale. If you can decipher the thick Irish accents, there is both pathos and humor to be found. The film won the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the trailer highlights the young boy’s fear that, if he is forced to relocate, nobody will be able to understand him. As one line has it, “The Irish were born for leaving. Otherwise, the rest of the world would have no cops.” Among things mentioned specifically that an Irishman needs to be happy are “Guinness and sheet music for ‘Oh, Danny Boy.’”
There’s even a joke worked into the script (although a really old one), and the gentle back-and-forth ribbing of Cilian Hinds and Judi Dench is both touching and funny, as the elderly grandparents.
Van Morrison did the music: 8 old songs and 1 new one. I learned (from Branagh) that Morrison grew up in Belfast. The 76-year-old musician is known for blending all styles of music. Among his compositions are the song “Gloria” (written when still a member of the group “Them”) and “Brown-Eyed Girl.” Some of the songs that Morrison selected for the film worked in the spot where they were inserted. Some, for me, did not. “My momma told me there’d be days like this,” coming on the heels of a tense discussion between the parents about whether or not to move away from Belfast seemed incongruous, to me. Likewise, when his father is leaving on a bus (to go back to England for work), a jazzy tune plays. There is a frisking in the street and a similarly up-beat song is playing in the background. One critic complained about the use of Dimitri Tiomkins’ theme from “High Noon” as shown on the television set, calling it “incessant.” On the other hand, using “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling” made a certain amount of sense in the context of the film’s friction between the parents over whether or not to move.
布拉纳（Branagh）专门提到了西方影响力 - 辛辣的风格，诸如“非原谅”（克林特·伊斯特伍德（Clint Eastwood）的西方）之类的海报，既是对电影院的敬意，又为这个小男孩提供了道德框架。正如他解释的那样：“电影对我来说是一个逃生的地方。这是一次仪式经历。”布拉纳（Branagh）特别提到了他想到让家人一起参加的其他电影，除了实际使用“一百万公元前”。带有拉奎尔·韦尔奇（Raquel Welch）和“奇蒂（Chitty），奇蒂（Chitty），邦格（Bang Bang）”（这使朱迪思（Dame Judith）在听到这个名字时喃喃自语，‘哦，上帝！现在我听到了一切。”）。他说，“音乐的声音”，“大逃生”和“黄色潜艇”都在跑步中，解释说他想要一部六十年代的电影，其中一部具有大屏幕Cinemascope的感觉。一家人一起观看迪克·范·戴克（Dick van Dyke）的经典赛，一起关于飞行汽车，然后依靠他们真的在飞行汽车上，这有点hokey，但以糖精的方式吸引人，肯定是对六十年代后期的敬意。艺术电影特殊效果。
The film uses bursts of color interspersed in the largely black-and-white film. The opening aerial shots are gorgeous and the color is meant to shock. As Branagh explained it, the color is synonymous with and evocative of creativity.
And, he said, “It represents the energy to dream. If you could dream, maybe you could dream yourself out of this nightmare.”