Loach’s ‘Route Irish’ joins Cannes Competition lineup

Posted by · 5:44 am · May 10th, 2010

I told you on Friday that a 19th title was going to be added to the selection of films vying for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and lo and behold, here it is. Variety reports that “Route Irish,” an Iraq War drama from festival habituĂ© Ken Loach, has joined the lineup — just one year after Loach brought football-themed comedy “Looking for Eric” to the Croisette.

It’s probably not the film that most people were hoping to see as a last-minute addition, but it does bump up the number of English-language titles in Competition to three, while also boosting the “venerable auteur” count.

This marks the tenth Competition entry of the British director’s career — he won the Palme on his eighth attempt, with “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” in 2006 — and if that’s not a record, it confirms him as one of the festival’s true pets.

Written, like all Loach’s recent work, by Paul Laverty, and with a typically low-profile cast, the film appears to be a return to more solemn form for the director; Variety offers the following blurb:

…the story of two ex-soldiers in love with the same woman who head to Iraq to work as private contractors. It’s set both in Liverpool and Iraq, where a contractor named Fergus (Mark Womack) returns following the death of his friend along the deadly road (from where pic’s title is taken) that links the Green Zone with the airport used by the coalition.

As someone who thought “Looking for Eric” was pretty minor work coasting into Cannes on its maker’s reputation alone, I rather hope “Route Irish” has more to offer. (Apparently, the festival selectors wanted it all along, but Loach himself only relented late in the game.) Either way, they’re not exactly pushing the boat out with this pick.

→ 9 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

9 responses so far

  • 1 5-10-2010 at 5:50 am

    Glenn said...

    Yawn. After what he did to the Melbourne International Film Festival this man’s free pass into film fests should be revoked.

  • 2 5-10-2010 at 7:02 am

    Joseph Giancarlo said...

    He has indeed fine good titles, but I dont know, another film about irak? no more comments…

  • 3 5-10-2010 at 9:08 am

    Will said...

    there are better war stories than this out there

  • 4 5-10-2010 at 9:10 am

    Will said...

    there are better War Stories than this

  • 5 5-10-2010 at 9:37 am

    red_wine said...

    This is really an extremely lazy choice and will likely have no impact in the competition at all.

  • 6 5-10-2010 at 12:14 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    It should also be mentioned that almost his entire back catalog has been put on youtube to watch for free. Anyone who hasn’t seen Kes absolutely must do so.

  • 7 5-10-2010 at 12:19 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Indeed, but I kind of hate the idea of it being watched on YouTube. I’m so old these days.

  • 8 5-10-2010 at 12:34 pm

    maurier said...

    I can’t believe they couldn’t choose any other film… So boring, another ‘abonnĂ© de Cannes’ gets his place in the competition.

  • 9 5-10-2010 at 2:32 pm

    James D. said...

    The Wind that Shakes the Barley was the eleventh best film of 2007. I will always be interested in a Loach film.