Colin Farrell’s Best Movie Ever Is Trending On Streaming

Colin Farrell's The Banshees of Inisherin is trending on HBO Max.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

colin farrell
The Banshees of Inisherin

Colin Farrell has had one of the odder careers in modern Hollywood, with as many bewildering low points like 2003’s Daredevil (in which he played a bizarre, near-feral version of supervillain Bullseye) as star-making highs like acting alongside Tom Cruise in the science fiction classic Minority Report. None of his performances have been better than his role in the recent Martin McDonagh black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, paired once again with fellow Irish actor Brendan Gleeson. The Banshees of Inisherin is currently in the top ten most streaming films on HBO Max and likely getting a wider audience than its initial theatrical release could have hoped.

The Banshees of Inisherin stars Colin Farrell as Pádraic Súilleabháin, a young man living with his sister and his beloved pet donkey Jenny on the underpopulated (and fictional) Irish island of Inisherin in the early 1920s. The film begins on a chipper note, with Colin Farrell walking through the village with a literal rainbow at his back, going to fetch his best friend Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson) for their daily day-drinking at the island pub.

Unexpectedly, Brendan Gleeson ignores Colin Farrell, utterly stonewalling him. Eventually, Farrell manages to track him down (at the pub, naturally) and get him to acknowledge his existence, only for the other man to tell him that their friendship is over and he wants nothing to do with him. Ever again. 

In many ways, the plot of The Banshees of Inisherin is simple: two best friends fall out and one of them tries to reconnect with his lifelong friend. In other movies of its type, there would turn out to be some dark reason why Brendan Gleeson has rejected Colin Farrell’s friendship or some inciting incident. In this movie, Gleeson directly tells the younger man that it was nothing he did, it’s just that Colin Farrell is dull. He’s a boring, unimaginative man who is content to live his life on a small island, drink at the pub, and eventually die. 

colin farrell

Brendan Gleeson explains that he wants some longer-lasting legacy in his life and plans to write music (eventually including a song titled the same as the movie) and share it with a flock of students who come to study under him. Colin Farrell decides that he will not give up on the friendship, and that is where things get dark. Suffice it to save, fingers are severed with garden shears, someone chokes to death, someone else drowns themselves, and a scary-looking lady just kind of stalks it all while the explosions of the (real-life) Irish Civil War boom in the background.

The Banshees of Inisherin is the second collaboration between Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Martin McDonagh since the latter’s directorial debut in 2008 with In Bruges. The similarly dark, witty, and simultaneously hilarious and tragic was one of Colin Farrell’s breakthroughs when he reinvented himself as a character actor in the Aughts, following his meteoric rise to leading man and subsequent personal crises. 

In Bruges and The Banshees of Inisherin can easily be seen as companion pieces, both anchored by masterful performances from Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. The latter is already universally acclaimed and expected to be a frontrunner at the upcoming Academy Awards. If you enjoy unexpectedly being brought to laughter and tears (sometimes at once), now’s the time to try.