As the prestigious Berlin Film Festival gears up for its grand opening, the historical drama "Small Things Like These," featuring the renowned Cillian Murphy, is poised to take center stage. This eagerly anticipated film, directed by the acclaimed Tim Mielants and scripted by Enda Walsh, is scheduled to make its world premiere at the festival on February 15, entering the competition with high expectations.
Adapted from Claire Keegan's novel, the film delves into the dark history of Ireland's Magdalen laundries, institutions run by the Roman Catholic Church from the 1820s to 1996. These asylums, under the guise of rehabilitating ‘fallen young women’, have a controversial and harrowing past, as the film seeks to explore.
Keegan, known for "Foster," which inspired the Oscar-nominated "The Quiet Girl," brings another powerful story to the screen.
Murphy's Star-Studded Ensemble
Joining Murphy in this cinematic journey are Eileen Walsh, Michelle Fairley, and Emily Watson.
Murphy, in a riveting portrayal, steps into the shoes of Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and devoted father. Set during Christmas of 1985, Furlong stumbles upon chilling secrets hidden within the convent of his town, uncovering unsettling truths about his own life in the process.
Produced by Murphy and Alan Moloney under their Big Things Films banner, and joined by Catherine Magee, the film's production team also boasts Hollywood heavyweights Matt Damon and Drew Vinton. Ben Affleck, Kevin Halloran, and Michael Joe of Artists Equity serve as executive producers.
FilmNation Entertainment handles international sales, with financial backing from Artists Equity and Screen Ireland/Fís Éireann, and Belgium's Wilder Content co-producing. Murphy, riding high on his recent accolades for Christopher Nolan's "Oppenheimer," including a Golden Globe win for best actor in a motion picture drama and a SAG Award nomination, brings a compelling performance to this film.
Berlinale artistic director Carlo Chatrian praised "Small Things Like These," highlighting Mielants' depiction of a man of few words but profound observations, as clear as Ireland's skies. Chatrian commended Keegan's ability to create unforgettable characters through seemingly simple narratives, a talent that finds a perfect vessel in Murphy's acting prowess.