PATRICK’S DAY

Patrick’s Day is writer/director Terry McMahon’s second feature (his first, 2011’s Charlie Casanova, was never distributed in the U.S.), and this Irish drama follows Patrick (Moe Dunford), a 26-year-old schizophrenic out celebrating his birthday with his mother, Maura (Kerry Fox). Patrick wanders away from his mother and into a nearby bar, where he meets the Lady in Red, Karen (Catherine Walker), an airline stewardess enjoying another lonely night at the bottom of the bottle. Karen enchants Patrick, and the two indulge in her misery and spend the night together. 

Karen isn’t aware of Patrick’s mental illness, and Patrick certainly isn’t aware of Karen’s depression—which is on the brink of suicide—but their night together is intimate and revealing, providing both of them a purpose. But that purpose isn’t in the cards for Maura, and she hires a local detective (Philip Jackson) to track her son down. Maura makes it quite clear that the safety and sheltering of her son is her top priority, even if that comes at the cost of experiencing life. Experiences that are forcefully and painfully taken from Patrick in the movie’s climactic montage, a bravura moment so strong that it forgives some previously clunky moments.

Patrick’s Day is a solid movie—Dunford’s naturalistic performance is a highlight—with McMahon painting a personal and affecting picture of these characters. Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

A version of the above review first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly Vol. 22, No. 31, “Calling all audiences.”