REVIEW After Sun – the Irish film that manages to ‘wake the demons from their slumber’: why actor Paul Mescal deserves his Oscar nomination

After Sun is one of this year’s most recent and exciting Irish films. In fact, you could say that Irish cinema has recently hit the jackpot, and I’ll explain why in a moment.

Despite not entering any other category, After Sun is represented at this year’s Oscars, and that’s thanks to the outstanding acting performance of young actor, Paul Mescal.

Mescal is competing in the Best Actor category, alongside Austin Butler (for Elvis), Brendan Fraser (for The Whale), Bill Nighy (for Living) and, of course, Colin Farrell (for The Banshees of Inisherin – also an Irish film that ticked off a huge number of categories this year).

Paul Mescal, outstanding acting performance in the Irish After Sun

I’ll warn you up front that After Sun is not necessarily an easy film to watch, and not necessarily for the reasons you might suspect.

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It starts off rather ponderously, giving you the impression that “nothing happens in this film”, only to later understand its purpose in your life.

Obviously, if you grew up in the ’90s, you have a real chance of empathizing a bit more with this film, since you can see your childhood unfolding before your eyes. The clothes, the music, the feeling… it all takes you back to a time when you were ten years old, feeling like you had a thousand problems but, in reality, none that matter now.

Consequently, nostalgia will manage to take hold of your soul if, by chance, the above conditions are met.

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I wouldn’t say this film is for everyone, but it’s definitely not a Golden Raspberry film, quite the contrary. It has a certain amount of sensitivity that, if you give it a chance, will manage to complete you towards the end.

Paul Mescal, playing the title role, carries his mission through to the end in absolutely sensational fashion, almost to the point of making you not know which Irishman to root for at the Oscars: him or Colin Farrell.

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