The Irish have a couple of very intriguing entries at Sundance this year. New York Post critic Kyle Smith is heaping some early praise on The Guard, an odd couple cop comedy starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle. He describes the film as a “a race-reversed 48 Hours in which the white guy gets to be funny and the black guy is the straight man.” Sounds promising.
The Guard was written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, the older brother of playwright Martin McDonagh. But arguably the more intriguing McDonagh siblings represented at Sundance this year are Michael and Hames Quinn, stars of the feature-length documentary Knuckle. Director Ian Palmer spent 12 years tracking the pair’s secretive Irish Traveler community and violent, bare-knuckle fighting matches.
According to Screen Daily, a big deal is imminent for the World Cinema Documentary Competition entry:
CAA sales agents confirmed there was intense ongoing interest from studio executives back in Los Angeles in Ian Palmer’s documentary Knuckle. A remake deal involving the original filmmakers could go down within the next few days.
This is the first film made by Palmer, who also narrates.