Published Jan 01, 2006Born in 1959, Veronica Guerin worked as an accountant and then in public relations before she joined Ireland’s most popular newspaper, The Sunday Independent, as an investigative reporter in the mid-’90s. At the time, cocaine and corruption were rampant in Ireland, and her passion became reporting on drug lords and murderers, exposing Dublin’s corpulent criminal underbelly. Her gutsy writing earned her not only awards, but also death threats and attacks by angry mobsters.
In June of 1996, her murder by gang members triggered a national outrage that prompted Ireland’s largest criminal investigation, resulting in 150 arrests. Her death was marked by a moment of silence in the Republic. Directed by Joel Schumacher (Phone Booth, A Time to Kill), Touchstone’s Veronica Guerin is a gritty, suspenseful look back at a dark time in a nation’s history and an insightful study of an extraordinarily brave wife and mother.
Kate Blanchett is a stunning Veronica Guerin. She crawls inside the role and makes it her own. She portrays the feistiness and determination that made Guerin a heroine, but also the love and compassion for family, friends and country that made her human. Ciaran Hinds (The Sum of All Fears) plays Traynor, Guerin’s informant and friend, as three quarters smarmy, one-quarter kind-hearted. The mixture of the two makes all the actions believable. As the brutal mob boss, John Gilligan, Gerard McSorely (Braveheart, Angela’s Ashes) is suitably dogged and detached — a scene where Gilligan ruthlessly beats Guerin for trying to get a quote from him is particularly disconcerting.
Less is seen of Guerin’s family. Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) plays her mother Bernadette, in a role that is too little of a good thing. And Barry Barnes, as Guerin’s husband Graham, is so little who knows if it would have been a good thing or not. And no film about Eire would be complete without a cameo from Colin "Did I mention I’m Irish?" Ferrell, Shumacher’s Tigerland buddy. (Touchstone)