How do you spend Valentine’s Day? A little champagne with your significant other? Swanky dinner out on the town? Wine and heart-shaped cookies by the fire? Chocolates? Flowers? Diamonds? wink

May we recommend all of the above PLUS a Byrne-ing hot Romantic film?

Gabriel Byrne has made, it turns out, a TON of romantic with a capital R films, full of longing, heart-felt sentiment, danger, and desire.

Here is a carefully curated list of them, created by yours truly, with the following warning: go find that fire extinguisher and have it handy. These films are HOT and Mr. Byrne is smouldering, so handle with care!

Enjoy them alone. Enjoy them with friends. Enjoy them with that certain someone. Don’t forget the libations and/or cookies. Happy Valentine’s Day! heart

In chronological order, most recent first. Links take you to the Mega Move Page for the film (if there is one) or to my essays about the film. wink

Just A Sigh/Le temps de l’aventure

The film Byrneholics Everywhere waited all their lives to see. Gabriel Byrne as the apple-eating Mysterious Stranger, with Emmanuelle Devos as Alix, who follows him. What happens next is mythic, romantic, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, ultimately cathartic. Everything you need for the perfect Valentine’s Day film.

I, Anna

Sometimes love is serious, like this film: a thoughtful and intimate look at two people and how they exist in the brutal world in which they find themselves. Mr. Byrne’s detective, Bernie, is the perfect match for Charlotte Rampling’s Anna. He understands what she does not and she feels what he can’t. They touch across a chasm of lies, misrepresentations, and fear. Too serious for you? Well, sometimes that is how love is…

In Treatment

Alone? Well, binge-watching the first season of this television series could certainly take the sting out of being by yourself on this romantic holiday. Get lost in the world of Dr. Paul Weston and his patients. And get lost in the blue eyes of Gabriel Byrne as he listens with care and attention to all of their mind-boggling problems. Free psychiatry and advice for Valentine’s Day! Who could ask for more?

Emotional Arithmetic

A great love story, that’s what we want on this romantic day, yes? You will not find one more touching than this film about people haunted by their shared past. There are moments of comedy to lighten the drama and the autumnal Canadian landscapes are breath-taking. More breath-taking, however, are Gabriel Byrne and Susan Sarandon, rekindling a tender romance from years ago. Go grab the tissues and settle in for an “emotional” love story!


Finding Valentine’s Day a bit scary? Here. Let Gabriel Byrne, as Father Andrew Kiernan, help you. He helped Patricia Arquette’s Frankie, the young woman beset by more weirdness than any one woman should ever have to face. He can help you, too. And yes, wine is the appropriate libation for this film. wink

The Man in the Iron Mask

Who is more romantic than the dashing, courageous, and conflicted d’Artagnan? Put a single red rose on the coffee table, pour a bit of champagne, and toast the Musketeers as they set out on their most daring escapade. Oh, and you will need those tissues again…One for All and All for Gabriel Byrne!

Smilla’s Sense of Snow

Is it snowing outside? Like a little danger with your Valentine’s Day chocolates? And a hot romance? Then this is the perfect film for you. Julia Ormond made Smilla dangerous. Gabriel Byrne found the vulnerability beneath the Mechanic’s hard shell.  Let the Mechanic melt the snow–and possibly your chocolates as well!

Little Women

Literary. Romantic. Philosophical. Romantic. Inspirational. Did I say romantic? Yes, perfect for this day of hearts. When Jo bumps into the Professor in the streets of New York, your heart goes all aflutter, does it not? Good. Remember that feeling. And do not fast forward! You need the whole story to make your heart happy. Now where did you put those tissues?

A Dangerous Woman

Byrneholics find Mackey irresistible: dark-hair, jeans, boots, that Irish lilt, those blue eyes. The whole package, including a bit too much alcohol and some questionable life choices. The perfect bad boy. He has a heart, though, and he makes us love him, even when our better sense tells us to run the other way. This complex story, involving Mackey in TWO very different romantic liaisons (Debra Winger and Barbra Hershey) may seem a little bit off-key for Valentine’s Day, but give it another whirl and dance with it. You will see–hearts broken and then mended are sometimes what this day is all about.

Point Of No Return

A tale of unrequited love. With guns, intrigue, and Nina Simone. And Uncle Bob to guide you. What more do you need?


Augustine! That is all. Oh, and a trapeze. Go ahead. Faint.

Other films you might consider for this most romantic of days include Dark Obsession, Frankie Starlight, Polish Wedding–the list goes on. Perhaps the best strategy is to turn Valentine’s DAY into Valentine’s WEEKEND and do Gabriel Byrne movies the justice they deserve!

What is YOUR favorite Gabriel Byrne film for Valentine’s Day?


  1. megustagabriel

    After your comments about all the above films, honestly I guess everyone will chose ALL of them, including me, of course.
    Despite of this, my preference goes to Just a Sigh in first place. For me, the most romantic.


  2. Love your tips. I wondered though: is Dark Obsession available on DVD? That’s one of the few I haven’t found yet.

  3. Oh la la ! It’s really hard to pick just one Stella…Le Temps de l’aventure is my number one for its sheer romanticism. The wonderful chemistry between the two performers as they awaken, then linger, as the clock ticks, then part wistfully. And because this is the film where I finally saw Mr. Byrne on the big screen after an absence of several years.

    Emotional Arithmetic used to be my all time favourite, just for Gabriel’s delivery of this one line to Susan’s character: “I could have loved you…” So much love, longing and regret in one line. From the tentative embrace of the airport scene where they meet again after a lifetime, to their parting, every scene is pitch perfect. A film that surpassed the book because of its superb adaptation and cast. Come to think of it , these two films have similar threads, and end on a note of optimism…raising hope that the lovers will meet again.

    And my third choice is Smilla…where Gabriel plays a sweet, comforting hero as a counterpoint to Smilla’s hardness. Superb. And, he gets the girl in the end. So rare.

    OK. I’ll stop here for now.

    Angelle from Canada

    • I agree with your choices, Angelle. The first two in particular. For MY third film, I would choose Stigmata. I love that movie and Mr. Byrne in it. Stigmata is an overlooked gem, if you ask me… ;-)

  4. Ooh what to pick! well since I haven’t watched I,Anna yet (despite having got the DVD ages ago..) I could watch that. Think it might be Hubby friendly too LOL!

    • Karen, I think it is a great choice, of course! Hubby will enjoy the mystery. We know who you will be paying attention to… LOL! The ballads by Richard Hawley are so effective and touching. The whole film broke my heart–and as I said, sometimes that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about… ;-)

  5. Thanks for sharing all the good ideas for Valentine’s Day Stella.
    I think I will need a Valentine’s Week to see all the wonderful Gabriel movies you have suggested here.
    My favorite Gabriel movie is Just a sigh so I guess I will choose to see that one. I will also read you essay about that Movie and Gabriel again, because that is a terrific essay!
    I shall try not to speak about Gabriel with my boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. That would be nice Valentine present for Him I think… (If I can manage it…)

  6. I AM very grateful for all these romantic tráiler of GABRIEL in this VALENTINE S DAY , I ask you if it be able to find Smilla s Sense and Dangerous Woman in DVD, or it is be able to see by this page , like ever thanks Stella for all you give us through these pages .

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