Coming to Crave in August is Gabriel Byrne’s most recent film, Death of a Ladies’ Man, written and directed by Canadian Matt Bissonnette and returning home after a grand run at the Galway Film Fleadh.
My research, which mostly involves getting lovely tweets from My Pal Sammy, who writes extensively about Canadian and other television and films, tells me this:
heart Death of a Ladies’ Man premieres
August 4 on HBO via Crave heart
Gabriel won Best Actor Film at this year’s IFTA Awards for his role as Samuel O’Shea in Death of a Ladies’ Man and the film had its international premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh, where it screened both in person (it was sold out!) and online during the virtual festival.
Cineuropa logged this review from the Galway Fleadh:
Matt Bissonnette’s new feature is a highly emotional and entertaining drama, supported by a magnificent interpretation by Gabriel Byrne and the presence of many iconic songs by Leonard Cohen.
Samuel O’Shea (Gabriel Byrne) is an Irish college professor living in Montreal, who starts experiencing a series of bizarre hallucinations, possibly enhanced by his poorly hidden alcohol addiction. One day, after a medical check, he is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and left with – at best – between a few months and one year to live. A Gabriel Byrne in a state of grace brings life to this compelling portrait of a 62-year-old womaniser and absent father trying to reconnect with his two kids, a gay hockey player (Antoine Olivier Pilon) and a self-deluded aspiring actress (Karelle Tremblay), who both have recently started new sentimental relationships . . .
Supported by dazzling dialogue and sparkles of surreal humour, Bissonnette’s work is highly original and difficult to categorise, ultimately resulting in a curious blend of comedy, romance, psychological drama and musical. Although some parts may look too over the top, everything does gradually come together, and the director takes this brave, coherent direction all the way to the end.
Leonard Cohen’s iconic songs – “Bird on the Wire,” “Hallelujah,” “The Lost Canadian,” “Did I Ever Love You,” among others – tie in with the mood of the piece and with Byrne’s distressed character in particular. All in all, the work pays great homage to the late singer-songwriter and the spirit of his musical work, with its “beautifully depressed,” melancholic poetry resonating throughout Bissonnette’s picture.
O, You Lucky Canadians! I hope you enjoy seeing this remarkable movie on your little and big screens at home. Please don’t gloat too much while the rest of us wait to see it . . . and wait . . . and wait . . . wink
I love producer Corey Marr’s original poster for the film: