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A Kiss For Jed

A Kiss For Jed

Released 18 May 2012
Director Maurice Linnane

Mark O'Halloran, Jayne Wisener, Lee Arenberg, Rafael Sardina, Caroline Morahan, Jay Thomas
Writer(s) Maurice Linnane, Barry Devlin
Producer(s) Tim Palmer
Origin Ireland, United States
Running Time 87 minutes
Genre Comedy
Rating 15A

Once upon a time in New York.

After winning a reality TV contest, nineteen year-old Antrim girl Orla has to track down and kiss her idol – country and western star Jed Wood (loosely based on director Maurice Linnane’s work with Garth Brooks). Orla’s reluctant companion is cameraman Ray (Mark O’Halloran), who has little faith in either Orla or her quest. The pair trail Jed to New York City, where they are led on a tense and draining chase across film sets and hip nightclubs searching for the elusive star.

While Orla and Ray clash heads form the start, they soon come to realise a common goal, an ambition to leave Ireland and their old, unhappy lives behind. Jayne Wisener is suitably loud and headstrong as Orla, but like Ray, the audience quickly see a more vulnerable side to the young TV star wannabe. O’Halloran is a fine actor, and plays well as the equal parts exasperated and bored Ray.

A Kiss for Jed is beautifully shot, making the most of its location to the point where the city of New York is almost a character itself. The passage of time is stunningly depicted with time lapse photography of city skylines, and the moon rising and setting behind skyscrapers. Combined with a strong indie soundtrack, featuring plenty of Irish musicians like Lisa Hannigan, Fight Like Apes, Delorentos, and Villagers, A Kiss for Jed is a real treat to watch.

In many ways A Kiss for Jed is a very similar film to Once. Exchange Dublin for New York and an aging unfulfilled musician for an aging unfulfilled filmmaker and you’re there. And if A Kiss for Jed has a flaw, it is that it doesn’t tread a lot of new ground. Absolutely everything about this film is done well, the writing, the direction, the performances by the actors, but it still struggles to stay memorable when you’ve basically seen this film several times before.

- Bernard O’Rourke