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Cillian Murphy Irish Drama Small Things Lands at Lionsgate

Cillian Murphy Irish Drama Small Things Lands at Lionsgate

Cillian Murphy’s Oppenheimer follow-up, the Irish drama Small Things Like These, has landed at Lionsgate for North America, the UK and Ireland.

Directed by Tim Mielants, the period drama is adapted from the novel of the same name by Irish writer Claire Keegan — who also wrote the source material for Colm Bairéad’s Oscar-nominated drama The Quiet Girl — and plays out in a small Irish town in 1985 in the weeks before Christmas.

Murphy plays Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man who becomes aware of abuse happening at the local convent, abuse that forces him to confront the trauma of his own childhood and make a moral choice. The backdrop is the real history of the Magdalene Laundries, asylums and workhouses run by the Catholic Church in Ireland purportedly for the purpose of employing and educating “fallen women.”

Lionsgate will partner with Roadside Attractions to release the film theatrically in the U.S.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s review out of the Berlin Film Festival, where the film served as the opening night presentation, reads: “The actor’s work here could scarcely be more of a contrast to his fine-grained characterization as the soft-spoken but imposing title figure in Oppenheimer, with his hint of arrogance that chafes against so many peers. Bill is a reserved but profoundly decent man who appears to have spent his adult years taking up as little space as possible. Murphy fleshes him out with loaded silences and pained gestures, his pale, expressive eyes conveying a world of hurt, of trauma yanked back to the surface by startling experience.”

Enda Walsh wrote the screenplay adaptation for the film that was produced by Murphy and his Big Things Films partner Alan Moloney. It was financed and produced by Artists Equity, the studio run by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon that was founded on the principal that more talent, including below-the-line, would participate in a film’s profits.

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Along with Muprhy, Moloney, and Damon, Catherine Magee and Drew Vinton also produced. Affleck, Kevin Halloran, and Michael Joe serve as executive producers. 

Kaycee Holcomb and Elin Madadian along with Lauren Bixby negotiated the deal for Lionsgate.

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