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Director: Alan Gilsenan Starring: Catherine Keener, Hannah Gross Running Time: 90 minutes

Adapting the Canadian Author Carol Shields final novel Unless for the big screen was certainly going to be a challenge. The novel, the last book written by the author before her passing from breast cancer, was a sprawling story with many layers of philosophical meditation. The novel tackles gender inequality and the realistic possibilities for women, the nature of happiness as well as identification of people’s place and purpose in time. Writer/director Alan Gilsenan does a noble job of condensing these themes into a digestible cinematic format and with Catherine Keeners raw, realistic central performance Unless feels like a film with a lot on its mind. The resulting film however is never as nuanced and profound as it thinks it is, keeping the audience at an emotional distance when it should be letting them in.

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Irish animation continues to gain worldwide recognition this year with Jack O’Shea’s A Coat Made Dark being featured at Sundance Film Festival 2016, Brown Bag’s Peter Rabbit receiving it’s fifth Emmy Award and Cartoon Saloon’s feature Song of the Sea being recognised in Belgium’s Magritte awards and the UK’s Empire awards 2 years after its release. In light of all of this commercial and critical success, it is perfect timing for Darren William’s documentary Animation Inc. Ireland’s Creative Industry to show the world the incredible impact that past, present and future Irish creatives have had and will have on the animation industry as a whole.

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