Released towards the end of last month, this little gem, Life’s a Breeze, is available now from Magnolia Home Entertainment. Fionnula Flanagan is Nan, an elderly woman who lives in a cluttered home and puts up with her layabout son, Colm (Pat Shortt), who collects his weekly welfare, and dreams of winning the lotto. She also has a bit of an uncomfortable relationship with her teen granddaughter, Emma (Kelly Thornton), one that seems typical of the gulf between the young and old.
Colm, despite his desires to be rich, and his schemes sometimes getting the better of him, wants to do something nice for his ma. So gets his siblings together and gives her home a complete makeover, cleaning, tidying, and upgrading.
Nan, however, isn’t as pleased as they think she will be, in fact, she seems rather put out, especially when she keeps asking what they’ve done with her old mattress. They all think she’s having them on, but she tells them repeatedly, she has put all her life savings inside, almost a million Euros.
Emma, Colm and the family, with dollar signs in their eyes, rush everywhere organizing a hunts through tips, recycling, and landfills trying to reclaim it. The three of them are thrown together in this eccentric adventure that sees one mistake piled atop another – including letting the rest of the country know about it.
Emma discovers a bit of popularity at school, the family grows closer and the nation has its eyes open for a mattress stuffed with cash! Emma and Nan slowly start to connect, but Colm’s desire for money may override everything, even his love for his family.
So what will happen if someone else finds it first? What happens when things get even worse?
I quite like the relationship that grows between Emma and her Nan. The two of them are fun to watch together, especially when the rest of the family gives up. It’s at this point that the film really begins to shine as Flanagan and Thornton have a fun rapport with one another and give the film a big heart.
The story moves along quickly, and is wonderfully engaging, it’s light, and entertaining, and I had a fun time watching it, but by its end, I was hoping that there would have been a little more with Emma and her Nan, because that is when the picture really comes to life, and the scene when they are at the rubbish tip together is probably my favourite in the film.
There are gentle laughs, some nice moments, and the film’s resolution, and Emma’s choice is actually nicely done, and very believable.
So if you find yourself with a quiet evening, and would like something gentle, and not too hectic, this is a nice, fun Irish film to enjoy.
Life’s A Breeze is available now from Magnolia Home Entertainment.