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On the Irish isle of Achill at the end of the 19th century, a confident English aristocrat, Agnes McDonnell (Greta Scacchi), meets the younger, strong-willed James Lynchehaun (Daniel Craig), who talks his way to be the manger of her lavish estate. A divorced woman who scandalizes the locals with her smoking, drinking and impropriety, she is fascinated by the wild, blue-eyed Irishman when he wins a brutal horse race at a beachside county fair. Despite their class differences, they embark on a torrid affair - but the relationship quickly degenerates as Lynchehaun drags McDonnell into a hostile web of violence and political intrigue.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Beautifully shot by Slawomir Idziak, Love & Rage is based on a true story - though how much of the facts are displayed here I cannot say. But the DVD release is of interest as one of Daniel Craig's early lead roles and it's striking how easily we can now see James Bond in James Lynchehaun ... this time with a rather fine Irish accent. Craig is terrific in a flamboyant performance as the gruffly charming but scheming Irish larrikin, James, who turns out to be not only an occasional actor but something more dangerous.

Greta Scacchi is at her peak (or, one of her many peaks) as the feisty and unconventional English divorcee struck by James - with terrible results. Stephen Dillane is wonderfully grotesque as the doctor with a secret, who is instrumental in the story and Valerie Edmond is memorable as Agnes' loyal servant Libby.

The groundwork for Brian Lynch's screenplay is laid in James Carney's novel, The Playboy and The Yellow Lady, an almost gothic tale of hidden agendas and strange characters. Both Agnes and James are outsiders, but for different reasons, and both are strong individuals, loners who find their contrasts and attraction. But it's a tragic attraction and the romance that develops is like a black rose.

Published January 29, 2009

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(UK, 1998)

CAST: Greta Scacchi, Daniel Craig, Stephen Dillane, Valeria Edmond, Donal Donnelly, David Walshe, Lalor Roddy, Olivia Caffrey, Kieran Ahern

NARRATION: Stephen Dillane

PRODUCER: Christoph Meyer-Wiel, Rudolf Wichman

DIRECTOR: Cathal Black

SCRIPT: Brian Lynch (novel by James Carney)


EDITOR: Ulrike Leipold

MUSIC: Ralf Wienrich


RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

PRESENTATION: 1.33:1; DD 2.0


DVD RELEASE: January 12, 2009

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