PIXIE (Barnaby Thompson) takes place in Northern Ireland, and as implied by its title, the story revolves around a young woman named Pixie Hardy (Olivia Cooke). Her mother was killed, but nobody really trusts her story, or her. She’s portrayed very much as a free spirit, and someone that never stops standing up for themselves.
Lumped into the comedy genre, the film presented as much more of a dark comedy. It also had some very serious moments, as comedy can often be a veil for drama. The comedy stemmed more from awareness of the situations, and the responses that are seen. It likely won’t be a raucous laugh-fest for most, but it does highly reward the right sense of humour. Adding to the wild adventure of the film’s story are ridiculous animal masks, criminals in brightly painted vintage Honda cars, characters that are picky about Tequila during a getaway, and surreal family dynamics. Pixie’s stepsister Summer (Olivia Byrne) is particularly witty.
For the most part it is distinctly Irish. It was a pleasant surprise to see parts of the country that aren’t the major tourist draws. The cast was not exclusively Irish, but featured several Irish actors, including Colm Meaney as Dermot O’Brien, the O’Brien family patriarch. He’s also Pixie’s stepfather, but they’re both happy to forgive time and genetics for a deeply caring relationship.
The film can often seem like a bungled crime caper, but that’s its charm. It’s learned that the small Irish community is a drug hotbed, and those involved are walking on eggshells of a delicate arrangement. This is a movie that risks damnation by portraying religious clergy as manipulative drug traffickers.
The story kicks off with a hold up at a church, and then takes more turns than the winding country roads that lead to the next conundrum. Pixie quickly meets Frank (Ben Hardy) and Harland (Daryl McCormack), through coincidences resulting from a drug heist. The bulk of the movie follows this trio, and the precarious friendship they form. Pixie calls their journey an “Adventure”. They meet an assortment of characters along the way including Seamus (Ned Dennehy) an eccentric hitman, and the crime boss in priest’s robes Father McGrath (Alec Baldwin).
PIXIE was an enjoyable story. Not knowing much at the start, it was very engrossing. The UK characters and setting are never overwhelming. There are slang terms that might be new for some, but they’re all used in a context that they’re easily deciphered. There’s nothing that would turn off American viewers. There are times where one needs to laugh at what’s being seen on screen. Great performances all around, especially Pixie, who is really the driving force of her own movie.
PIXIE is now available to rent on all digital platforms in Canada including Apple TV, Google Play & Cineplex Store.