The coming-of-age love story "Finding You" — which is based on Jenny B. Jones's book "There You'll Find Me" — centers around a young violinist (Rose Reid's Finley Sinclair) who falls for a movie star (Jedidiah Goodacre's Beckett Rush) when they cross paths in Ireland while she's studying abroad and he's shooting an installment in a massive blockbuster film franchise. The romantic drama filmed in several locations across the Emerald Isle: in Dublin, Claire, Offaly, Kildare and Carlingford. When "Finding You" opens in theaters on May 14, 2021, expect to fall in love with not just its young stars but also with the country where it's set! In honor of its big debut, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at more of the best movies and TV shows set in Ireland.
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Amy Adams starred in the 2010 rom-com "Leap Year" as an American woman who gets stranded in a small Irish town where she falls for a local innkeeper (Matthew Goode) while on her way to Dublin to propose to her long-term boyfriend on Bachelor's Day. (According to Irish tradition, women can propose to men on Leap Day, which falls on Feb. 29.) The movie, which filmed at various locations across Ireland, tanked with critics but nonetheless managed to develop a loyal fanbase over the years.
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"Normal People" became an instant hit when it debuted on Hulu in April 2020. The romantic drama, which is based on Sally Rooney's novel of the same name, centers around the complex off-and-on relationship between two young people in Ireland. The series — which spans from their teen years in a small town in County Sligo to their experiences studying at Trinity College in Dublin — made instant stars of leads Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal. It also racked up award nominations including two Golden Globe nominations (best limited series and best actress in a limited series for Daisy) and four Emmy nominations (best actor in a limited series for Paul and best directing, writing and casting for a limited series).
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Saoirse Ronan scored an Oscar nomination for her performance in the 2015 romantic drama "Brooklyn," which follows a young Irish immigrant from Enniscorthy in Ireland's County Wexford as she moves to the titular New York City borough to start a new life — though she's ultimately torn between her new home (and new love!) and the one she left behind. The film, which is based on Irish writer Colm Tóibín's novel of the same name, also earned Academy Award nominations for best film and best adapted screenplay.
The 2007 Irish musical drama "Once" centers around a busker (Glen Hansard) and his burgeoning relationship with a young Czech immigrant (Markéta Irglová) as they bond over their mutual interest in music. The Dublin-set film, which was shot entirely in the Irish capitol on a shoestring budget, won the Oscar for best original song for "Falling Slowly" and spawned a Tony-winning Broadway musical. It was also a huge hit with critics (it scored a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and at the box office (it took home more than $23 million at the global box office even though it scored only a limited release).
Now for another Dublin-based musical we adore: 2016's "Sing Street." The 1985-set coming-of-age dramedy centers around a teen (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who starts a band to impress a beautiful classmate (Lucy Boynton). The film was a huge hit with critics, scoring a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and scoring a Golden Globe nomination for best musical or comedy.
Gillian Anderson starred as detective on the hunt for a serial killer played by Jamie Dornan in the Irish crime-drama "The Fall," which is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The series ran for three seasons between 2013 and 2016 and streamed on Netflix in the United States. It was a huge hit with critics, scoring an 84% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and racking up award nominations.
A classic! The 1998 comedy "Waking Ned Devine" — which scored an 84% fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes — centers around a small Irish village that covers up a member of their community's death when he passes away shortly after winning the Irish National Lottery. Hilarity ensues when a National Lottery inspector arrives to see if "Ned" has a legitimate claim to the winnings. Ian Bannen and David Kelly — who scored a SAG Award nomination for his work in the film — starred as the ringleaders of the plot. The cast also earned a SAG Award nomination for best ensemble.
Daniel Day-Lewis won his first Oscar for his performance as Christy Brown — a Dublin-based writer and artist with cerebral palsy — in the 1989 biographical drama "My Left Foot." Brenda Fricker also won an Oscar for her work as Christy's mother, Bridget Fagan Brown. The film earned three more Academy Award nominations: best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay.
Judi Dench scored an Oscar nomination for her performance as Philomena Lee in the 2013 biographical drama "Philomena," which is based on journalist Martin Sixsmith's 2009 book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee." (Steve Coogan portrayed the London-based writer in the film.) The plot centers around Martin's investigation into Philomena's past and their efforts to reunite her with the child she was forced to give up for adoption when she was sent to a convent — Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea in Ireland's County Tipperary — for getting pregnant out of wedlock. "Philomena" was a huge hit with critics, scoring a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also earned Oscar nominations for best picture, best adapted screenplay and best original score.
The lauded '90s-set sitcom "Derry Girls," which scored a 98% fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, centers around a group of friends at a Catholic girls' school in Derry in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. The British production — which is a huge hit in Northern Ireland and is available to stream on Netflix in the United States — debuted in 2018 and has aired two seasons for far. (A third season is currently in the works but has been delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.) Need another reason to watch? The cast includes "Bridgerton" breakout star Nicola Coughlan.
Michael Fassbender starred in 2008's "Hunger" as Bobby Sands, a real-life member of the Provisional IRA who led the 1981 Irish hunger strike while imprisoned at The Maze in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. The historical drama, which scored a 90% fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, marked Steve McQueen's feature film directorial debut. (He went on to win an Oscar for "12 Years a Slave" in 2014.)
Cate Blanchett took on the title role in the 2003 biographical drama "Veronica Guerin," which centers around the titular journalist's investigation into the Dublin drug trade and subsequent assassination. She scored a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the Joel Schumacher-directed and Jerry Bruckheimer-produced biopic, which also racked up award nominations in Ireland.
In the pitch-black dramedy "Calvary," Brendan Gleeson stars as an Irish priest settling his affairs after a parishioner threatens to kill him — but gives him a week to live — as retribution for the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of another priest who's since passed. The 2014 drama, which scored an 89% fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, features an all-star cast including Brendan's son, actor Domhnall Gleeson, as a disturbed serial killer, "Game of Thrones" star Aidan Gillen, Kelly Reilly and Chris O'Dowd. Speaking of the "Bridesmaids" star…
"Bridesmaids" star Chris O'Dowd wrote, directed, executive produced and starred on the Irish sitcom "Moone Boy," which won an International Emmy Award for best comedy in 2013. He starred as the imaginary friend of a 12-year-old boy in Boyle in Ireland's County Roscommon — his real hometown. The series ran for three seasons between 2012 and 2015. (Chris is seen here celebrating his Emmy win with "Moone Boy" co-writer and associate producer Nick Vincent Murphy.)