Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Dancing At Lughnasa


MPAA Rating:


Run Time:



Meryl Streep

Michael Gambon


(pictures (c)1999 Sony Pictures Classics)

Still shot from the movie: Dancing At Lughnasa.

Read Review

Reviewed by

Overall C+
Run Time95

Making the Grades

In the last few weeks, R ratings have ruled the video shelves, leaving parents little choice for younger family members. Dancing At Lughnasa is more likely to induce sleep in children than violent actions, but if you're determined to bring home a new release that's not rated R, there is little else to choose from. (This in itself is a sad reflection on the media's attitude towards families.)

Dancing At Lughnasa Certainly, Dancing At Lughnasa is not completely worthless. Produced and filmed in Ireland and taking place in the 1930's, it proves the point that watching six people eat dinner can be interesting if they live in a land and time that are foreign to the audience. But as we learn about the five Mundy sisters, and their brother Jack (Michael Gambon) who has recently returned from deepest darkest Africa where he served as a Catholic missionary for serval decades, we keep expecting something to happen that will bring this story to the boiling point.

Dancing At Lughnasa Perhaps it will be when 8 year old Michael (Darrell Johnston), the illegitimate son of sister Christina (Catherine McCormack), asks where his father is. Or when Christina discovers his father Gerry (Rhys Ifans) has returned after an 18 month absence. Although Christina is anxious to begin the relationship again, not all her sisters agree with her actions. Or the pot could begin bubbling when Jack starts to reenact the "pagan" rituals of the African tribes he has spent so much time with, apparently forgetting his Catholic training. Or is the real problem beginning to brew when eldest sister Kate (Meryl Streep) loses her "secure" job as a school teacher after the local Catholic priest, who is aware of Jack's strange actions, claims that school enrollment is dropping.

Dancing At Lughnasa Unfortunately, even with this much fuel for the fire, the plot only simmers while the large cast interacts with each other using the odd mild profanity. In the end, this is a long, slow dance, that's dying for a dip, twist, and a spin.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Dancing At Lughnasa.

In an early scene when Jack returns, he hears a radio for the first time. Proclaiming the radio to be “a miracle”, Kate insists that it isn’t, but instead is a product of science. At the end of the film, the radio provides the music that allows the sisters to dance together. How does the radio prove to be both a miracle as well as a benefit of science?

Canadian Movie Ratings

Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB Not Rated -----
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Add Your Comments

Commenting is restricted to members only.
Please log in below or, if you're not yet a member, please register.

Forgot password? | register

Please note: So we can maintain a website with content appropriate for all ages, we moderate all comments and will edit profanities, slanderous remarks and other inappropriate language. For these reasons, your comments will not appear immediately.

There are currently no comments on this review. Be sure to add yours with the form below.

You May Be Interested...

Also On The Web