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The Tiger's Tail

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After a chance encounter, a Dubliner (Brendan Gleeson) is stalked by a murderous facsimile of himself.

Genre - Thriller

Director(s) - John Boorman

Writer(s) - John Boorman

Cast - Brendan Gleeson and Kim Cattral

Blue Rider's Role - Bridge financier and P & A lender

Distributor(s) - Buena Vista (U.K.), International sales: Moviehouse Entertainment and Outsider; DVD from MGM

Release Date - 2008

The Tiger's Tail was nominated for seven Irish Film and Television Awards, winning two. Seamus Deasey won for Best Cinematography and Steven McKeon won for Best Music in Film. Nominees were director John Boorman, supporting actress Sinéad Cusack, costume designer Maeve Paterson, sound designer Brendan Deasey and hair and makeup creators Martina McCarthy and Denise Watson.

Release data:
The Tiger's Tail played at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain on September 24, 2006 and at the European Film Market in Germany on February 11. The film made its U.S. debut as the closing feature of the Palm Springs International Film Festival on January 14, 2007. It had a successful run in Ireland in Fall 2006, opened in the U.K. on June 8, 2007 and bowed in Israel on June 28. On September 21 it screened at the Copenhagen International Film Festival. It had a limited U.S. run in April 2008 and played at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April 2009. It came out on North American DVD on August 11, 2009. On September 9 it ranked #79 on's chart of top British Mystery and Suspense DVDs.

Critics' Kudos:
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times: "Ireland-based filmmaker John Boorman has a message to deliver with his new film The Tiger's Tail—about the new class divisions resulting from the Emerald Isle's surge in prosperity—and he's found a slyly enjoyable frame around which to hang his darkly comic and ultimately emotional plea.

"The great Brendan Gleeson (The General), an actor seemingly incapable of a false note, stars as a corrupt nouveau riche real estate developer who can't seem to convince anyone—his bitter wife (Kim Cattrall), his Communist son, his sister (Sinéad Cusack), his associates or the police—that he's discovered a brutish doppelgänger trying to take over his life. Boorman has some initial fun with the comic desperation of this premise, from jokey references to identity crisis classics 8 1/2 and Persona to some delicious cracks at the new Ireland. But as the truth is uncovered and fortunes are reversed, the film ultimately settles into a thoughtful, warmly funny and unexpected take on the delicate balance of need and want in a long-embattled economy just coming to grips with big money and status.

"It's a dance, a brawl and a negotiation, Boorman seems to suggest with his many fine visual metaphors, but most important it requires reflection and a desire to connect. It's always a distinct pleasure when a smart, imaginative filmmaker stops to take the pulse of the real world through a fanciful premise, and it makes The Tiger's Tail a highly gratifying closing night for what promises to be an eclectic, expansive festival."

Michael Dwyer, The Irish Times: "Something is rotten in the state of Ireland–so says veteran director John Boorman in his biting new comedy-thriller, The Tiger's Tail. Boorman’s robust film effectively brings the national conversation to the screen and drips with cynicism as he infuses the narrative with his disillusionment with his adopted country.

"Brendan Gleeson bestrides the movie with authority and subtlety, and the strong supporting cast notably features touching performances from Sinead Cusack and Moira Deady, in this biting, potent parable."

Metro Life (Ireland): "Gleeson delivers as fine a performance as both characters…and Sex and the City’s Cattrall proves that there is more to her range than Kama Sutra positions. Turning the mirror on Irish society, Boorman ably exposes the greed and the excess, the misery in our mansions and the flipside of the Celtic Tiger: homelessness."

Ciaran Carty, Sunday Tribune: "In this wonderful black comedy, Boorman delivers a triple-whammy of sex, lies and devilish twists."

The Star (Ireland): "This sobering tale, set in modern Ireland, follows a wealthy property developer who is being stalked by his double. Although billed as a black comedy thriller, in reality the movie moves across genres being part-drama and part-thriller with occasional comic moments."

Deborah Young, Variety: "A top-form Brendan Gleeson returns to John Boorman's lopsided modern world in The Tiger's Tail, arguably the director's most appealing entry since The General. Playing dual roles as a rich Irish businessman riding the economic boom and his down-and-out twin, Gleeson animates Boorman's amusing Prince and the Pauper screenplay, which sports a dark social underbelly that puts Ireland's rich-poor divide center stage. Distribs, including Buena Vista in the British Isles, can count on twinned interest from critics and general audiences for this intelligent film.

"Well-written scenes put the finger on pic's social theme and give the doppelganger story depth. Boorman's vivacious dialogue keeps up the good cheer even in the story's darkest moments. He doesn't miss several golden opportunities to indict hospitals and the national health services. Yet the touch is consistently light and entertaining.

"Gleeson gives full-bodied believability to his ruthless businessman, used to cutting deals with local pols and bribing his way into contracts. He also beautifully distinguishes between his two roles, even when Liam and the double are wearing identical clothes in the same scene. His brother Frank Gleeson steps into the odd shot as a convincing picture double, while his real-life offspring Brian Gleeson offers a fine comic turn as Liam's golf-playing Marxist son.

"Finely filling supporting roles are Sinead Cusack, as Liam's tragic older sister, and Cathy Belton and Sean McGinley as his long-suffering employees.

"Carefully crafted scenes do credit to a top tech staff, led by Seamus Deasy's atmospheric nighttime lensing, Ian Whittaker's luxurious sets and Maeve Paterson's rags-to-riches costume design."

Matthew Turner, ViewLondon: "Enjoyably rubbish drama Brendan Gleeson terrific in his dual roles and some deliriously bonkers moments.
The film is strangely compelling, because you're never quite sure which outrageous direction it will take next."

Kevin Maher, The Times (London): "Boorman goes on the offensive with this satirical parable of modern Irish decadence. When Liam’s doppelgänger appears and worms his way into his life and the arms of his wife, Liam is forced to reevaluate his ideas about the world around him. It’s provocative stuff, effortlessly played by Gleeson."

Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall: "As always, Gleeson delivers a fascinating performance, adding shadings to both Liam and his doppelganger, really getting under the skin as they interact with the people around them. He's the main reason to see this film. Cattrall is fine in an underwritten role."

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (U.K): "Sparks fly in this drama."

Philip French, The Observer (U.K.): "Gleeson is excellent, there are several deeply moving scenes involving Sinead Cusack and generally it's a fascinating, thoughtful contribution to the dramatic literature of doubles, twins and doppelgangers that stretches from The Comedy of Errors to The Prisoner of Zenda.

"John Boorman is one of the greatest film-makers this country has produced. Several of his pictures are cinematic landmarks (Point Blank, Deliverance, Excalibur, Hope and Glory) and even when he's not at his best they're ambitious and provocative."

Amber Wilkinson, "Gleeson delivers a bravura performance."

Neil Davey, "There are some interesting questions raised in this enjoyable tale of Liam and his, er, mid-lives crisis. Gleeson is excellent, and the support work — particularly Ciaran Hinds as an old schoolfriend-turned-priest — is also top drawer."

New York Times DVD review: "An interesting experiment from the direc5tor John Boorman ('Deliverance') that touches both on personal themes of alienation and the economic reality of Ireland in the boom years. It reunites Mr. Boorman with Brendan Gleeson, the star of his 1998 film 'The General' for an allegorical story of a prosperous Irish businessmanhaunted by a homeless double."

User Ratings: As of August 13, 2009, more than 62.6% of the 487 viewers who rated The Tiger's Tail at The Internet Movie Database gave it a positive rating, with 11.7% rating it a perfect 10. The film was much more popular with men than with women. The demographic groups liking it most were women 45 and older (rating it 6.7 out of 10), men 45 and older (6.4) and men 18-29 (6.3).

Major Cast and Crew Credits and Awards: Directed by John Boorman (The Tailor of Panama, Exorcist II: The Heretic, Point Blank, The Emerald Forest, Beyond Rangoon, Hell in the Pacific, Two Nudes Bathing; best picture, best director and best screenplay Oscar noms for Hope and Glory and Best Picture and Best Director noms for Deliverance; Cannes Best Director for The General and 16 other major world awards).

Written by John Boorman (Excalibur, Zardoz, The Tailor of Panama, Where the Heart Is, Leo the Last, Picture Windows; best picture, best director and best screenplay Oscar noms for Hope and Glory and Best Picture and Best Director noms for Deliverance; four major noms for screenwriting; nominated for an Irish Film and Television directing award for The Tiger's Tail).

Stars Brendan Gleeson (several awards for The General; appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Braveheart, Gangs of New York, Cold Mountain, Troy, Artificial Intelligence: AI, Mission Impossible II, 28 Days Later, Far and Away, The Tailor of Panama, Michael Collins, Kidnapped and The Field); Kim Cattrall (Big Trouble in Little China, 15 Minutes, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Crossroads, Police Academy, Porky's, Mannequin, Bonfire of the Vanities, Ice Princess, Ticket To Heaven; five Emmy noms, two SAG awards and a Golden Globe for Sex and the City).

Cast includes Ciaran Hinds (Munich, Road to Perdition, Rome, The Sum of All Fears, Excalibur, Miami Vice, Calendar Girls, Circle of Friends, Some Mother’s Son, Oscar and Lucinda and The Phantom of the Opera); Sinéad Cusack (V for Vendetta, I Capture the Castle, Stealing Beauty, Waterland, The Sparrow and Rocket Gibraltar; nominated for Irish Film and Television Awards best actress honor for The Tiger's Tail); Sean McGinley (Gangs of New York, Michael Collins, Circle of Friends, Simon Magus, Braveheart, Angela’s Ashes; won Ireland’s IFTA Best Supporting Actor award for On a Clear Day); Cathy Belton (Intermission, Circle of Friends, The Snapper) and Briain Gleeson (debut of Brendan’s 19-year-old son).

Produced by John Boorman (won Best Picture Oscar for Hope and Glory; received an Oscar Best Picture nom for Deliverance; won the Cannes Golden Palms for The General, Excalibur and Leo the Last; and won 11 other major awards and 10 more nominations for his work); John Buchanan (Asylum, The Thief Lord) and Kieran Corrigan (The General, Evelyn, Two Nudes Bathing).

Cinematography by Seamus Deasy (The General, An Everlasting Piece, Two Nudes Bathing; two IFTA award nominations for The Might Celt and When the Sky Falls and a win for The Tiger's Tail).

Editor: Ron Davis (Beyond Rangoon, The Tailor of Panama, The General).

Original Music by Stephen McKeon (The Nephew, Cowboys & Angels; nominated for Ireland’s IFTA Best Music award for Blind Flight and won for The Tiger's Tail).

Production Designer: Ian Whittaker (Sense and Sensability, Highlander, Being Julia, Dangerous Beauty, Hanover Street; won Oscar for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration for Howard’s End and Oscar noms for Alien, Remains of the Day and Anna and the King).

Costume Designer: Maeve Paterson (The Tailor of Panama, The General; nominated for Irish Film and Television Award for The Tiger's Tail).

Writer-director-producer Quote:
John Boorman: "Identical twins were separated at birth. One becomes successful; the other does not. The deprived one sets out to take over the successful one’s life. This film observes how in the new Ireland of 'The Celtic Tiger,' the rich got richer and the poor get poorer. I thought this story would connect in interesting ways."

Internet Movie Database entry for The Tiger's Tail

Rave Review in Variety

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