Waking Ned Devine

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Profanity: Some
Alcohol/ Drugs: Drinking in pub
Violence/ Scariness: Some tension and some gallows humor
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: 1998

Jackie O’Shea (Ian Bannen) lives in a tiny Irish village called Tulaigh Mhor (pronounced Tully More). Like many of the other residents, he is an enthusiastic buyer of lottery tickets, and when he reads in the paper that one of the other residents has a winning ticket, he and his wife Annie (Fionnula Flanagan) and lifetime best friend Michael O’Sullivan (David Kelly) do their best to discover the winner. All of their efforts fail until they realize that only one resident of the town failed to attend their dinner party — Ned Devine. When Jackie and Michael go to his house, they discover that indeed he was the winner, and that the shock of winning caused a fatal heart attack.

Reasoning that Ned, who had no relatives, would have wanted them to have his winnings, Jackie and Michael decide to pretend that one of them is Ned Devine, to collect the prize. Ultimately, every resident of Tulaigh Mhor participates in the plot, with one notable exception, the fierce and nasty Lizzy Quinn (Eileen Dromey).

Parents should know that there is an unmarried mother who refuses to disclose the father of her child. And, there is a good deal of very black humor, including some shenanigans with a dead body, which some children will find upsetting. But others who enjoy wicked jokes will find this movie delightful, and it can lead to a good discussion of the morality of the decisions made by the characters and what they are likely to do after the movie ends.

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