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IFTA Awards Focus: Best Actor Film
21 May 2015 : Seán Brosnan
Moe Dunford is nominated alongside Colin Farrell, Michael Fassbender and Jack Reynor
The IFTA Film & Drama Awards are only three days away (Sunday, May 24) and we continue our coverage with a look at the Best Actor category in Film.

The nominees this year are Moe Dunford for Terry McMahon’s ‘Patrick’s Day’, Colin Farrell for Liv Ullman’s ‘Miss Julie’, Michael Fassbender for Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Frank’ and Jack Reynor for Gerard Barrett’s ‘Glassland’.

The only actor in this staple of nominees receiving their first IFTA nomination this year, Moe Dunford has received a barrage of acclaim for his portrayal of love-struck, schizophrenic Patrick in Terry McMahon’s ‘Patrick’s Day’.

Also nominated this year for an IFTA Rising Star, Dunford’s performance as Patrick was a pivotal factor in him winning the EFP Shooting Star Award in Berlin earlier this year, with the jury stating “he shows compassion and subtlety always putting the character first, never letting Patrick's issues overwhelm the performance.”

Donald Clarke has called Dunford’s performance “excellent” and RTÉ said that“ the film is effectively Moe Dunford’s film .His is quite a performance, akin to the kind of bravura turn Eamonn Owens delivered as the unhinged Francie in Neil Jordan’s 1997 screen adaptation of Patrick McCabe’s novel, ‘The Butcher Boy’.”

Dunford also has a recurring role in historical thriller series ‘Vikings’ and will be seen later this year in Irish film ‘Traders’ alongside Killian Scott.

Unlike Dunford, fellow nominee Colin Farrell has a very impressive IFTA pedigree with the Dublin actor celebrating his 11th nomination this year.

In Liv Ullman’s ‘Miss Julie’ opposite Jessica Chastain, Farrell plays valet John who begins an affair with an aristocrat’s daughter in 1890’s Fermanagh.

The late Roger Ebert in one of his final film reviews called Farrell’s performance “terrific” and The New York Times wrote “Mr. Farrell, who gives the strongest performance, infuses John with a desperate, wild-eyed intensity.”

Farrell has previously won an IFTA Award for ‘Ondine’ and was nominated for ‘Intermission’, S.W.A.T, ‘A Home at the End of the World’, ‘Miami Vice’, ‘In Bruges’, The Way Back’, ‘Seven Psychopaths’ and ‘Saving Mr Banks’. He also won an IFTA Audience award in 2003 for ‘S.W.A.T.’.

Colin Farrell will be seen next playing a gangster in the second series of HBO’s ‘True Detective’. He also has a starring role in ‘The Lobster’ which recently screened to a very enthusiastic response at the Cannes Film Festival.

Also nominated this year is Michael Fassbender for playing the oddball, titular character in Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Frank’.

This is Fassbender’s seventh nomination and would be his fifth win if successful. He has previously won a 2009 Rising Star Award, as well as winning the Best Actor Award the same year for his role in Steve McQueen’s ‘Hunger’. He also won IFTA’s for his next two collaborations with Steve McQueen – in 2012 for ‘Shame’ and in 2014 for ’12 Years a Slave’ which also garnered Fassbender Oscar and BAFTA nominations. Fassbender has also been IFTA nominated in the past for ‘Fish Tank’ and ‘The Devil’s Whore’.

His offbeat role in ‘Frank’ has received acclaim both in Ireland and abroad with Roger Ebert stating that the film is “driven by a remarkably physical performance by Michael Fassbender.” The Guardian was equally as complimentary saying “Fassbender is forced to speak with his body, his stance and mannerisms precisely tuned to the complex tragicomic twists of the story.”

Fassbender is currently starring in the lead role in ‘Macbeth’ – which premiered this month at Cannes and also stars co-nominee Jack Reynor. He will then be seen as the titular character in Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, a biopic on the life of the computer mogul. Other future film roles include ‘X Men: Apocalypse’, ‘Assasin’s Creed’ and ‘Prometheus 2’.

Rounding out the list is ‘Glassland actor Jack Reynor.

As young taxi driver John, forced into the criminal underbelly to look after his alcoholic mother Jean (played by Toni Collette), Reynor has already received a Special Jury Prize for Acting when the film premiered at Sundance earlier this year.

The Guardian has called Reynor’s internalized performance “impressive” while Variety called his portrayal of John “bold yet understated”.

After his breakthrough role in Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘What Richard Did’, Jack Reynor won both the IFTA Award for Best Actor as well as being nominated for the IFTA Rising Star Award. Reynor has previously performed in the films ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’, ‘Delivery Man’, ‘A Royal Night Out’ (in cinemas now) and ‘Macbeth’ (currently screening at Cannes). Future films include war drama ‘HHHH’ and ‘Jungle Book: Origins’ and closer to home - John Carney’s ‘Sing Street’ and Jim Sheridan’s ‘The Secret Scripture’.

The IFTA Film & Drama Awards takes place on Sunday, May 24 with TV3 airing a one hour special on the ceremony on Monday, June 1st.




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