Review: Couples slip into turmoil in Irish domestic drama ‘The Delinquent Season’


Although “The Delinquent Season” is the kind of provocative marital drama that’s been in shorter supply in recent years, it maintains a vitality and timelessness that should appeal to anyone who’s ever found themselves at an unexpected crossroads in a long-term romantic relationship.

Mark O’Rowe, making an auspicious feature directing debut (he also wrote), has crafted a highly intelligent, even-handed look at two suburban Dublin married couples — Jim (Cillian Murphy) and Danielle (Eva Birthistle), Yvonne (Catherine Walker) and Chris (Andrew Scott) — who are initially united by the wives’ friendship. But one night, when a shocking outburst by Chris reveals a potential fissure between him and Yvonne, it sets off a series of life-changing events. And down the rabbit hole they go.

To its credit there are no real heroes or villains, just a group of well-intended, middle-class folks so taken up by work, parenting and the demands of everyday life that they are caught short by the surprises that befall them. It’s a story that’s passionate, sad, tragic, haunting and wholly authentic.


O’Rowe, who also wrote 2007’s excellent “Boy A,” which starred a young Andrew Garfield, evokes both a theatrical and literary sense of narrative (it’s likely no coincidence that Jim references novelist John Updike), with scenes effectively unfolding like well-honed chapters. The cast is also first-rate.


‘The Delinquent Season’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Playing: Starts Nov. 9, Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood; also on VOD


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