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Ever wondered how many pints of Guinness are drank each year? Me neither, so let’s get on with singing the praises of this wonderful crime comedy-thriller.
Pixie Hardy (Olivia Cooke) is a seemingly nice, normal girl living in a nice, normal part of Ireland. However, she’s got a drugs heist on her mind and this job’s personal. When things inevitably start to unravel, she’s forced to team-up on a road trip with Frank (Ben Hardy) and Harland (Daryl McCormack) a pair of loveable losers who are way out of their depth. And when you throw a bunch of decidedly dodgy priests into the mix, “nice, normal” goes straight out the stained-glass window.
Pixie’s strong suit is its sheer likeability. It’s poignant and somewhat gritty in places, but maintains an innocent charm throughout. As a black comedy, it would’ve also been easy to fall into such classic traps as gratuitous violence. It lacks a little in substance, but more than makes up for that in spirit.
Which is mainly due to a great cast. Cooke makes a wonderfully naughty-but-nice heroine, which Game of Thrones fans will no doubt be pleased to hear as she’s signed up for its prequel, House of the Dragon. The relatively unknown Hardy and McCormack, as the hapless Frank and Harland, make for a great double act and the perfect foil for Cooke’s character. Meanwhile, who better to play a grizzled Irish crime lord than Colm Meaney? And yes, you will be doing a double-take when you see Alec Baldwin as crooked cleric, Father Hector McGrath.
There are occasions when things start to turn a little bit strange, ranging from the farcical to just plain cheesy, but it never wanders down these avenues for too long. It doesn’t dwell on the sentimental and melancholic, either, which are elements that are vital to the story, but could’ve derailed the brisk pace if they’d outstayed their welcome. This means that Barnaby Thompson‘s direction is on point and, although the running time totals around the 90-minute mark, you get the feeling it would never get dull even if it were longer.
It’s not unlike a movie that was reviewed here last year, Say Your Prayers: an irreverent crime caper containing fine performances from new and established cast members, with picture postcard countryside as the backdrop. Most importantly, it’s an emotional but feel-good experience.
If all this has raised your expectations, I make no apologies – they’ll be no need to. Pixie is set for release on DVD, Blu-Ray and rental on 1st March.