Best Irish Film at last year's Galway Film Fleadh, this tale of runaway kids thrives on the gritty and irresistible charm of its two young stars and a generous helping of Bob Dylan on the soundtrack.
Director: Lance Daly
Year: 2008
Country: Ireland
Running time: 76 mins

Producers: Macdara Kelleher, Lance Daly
Screenplay/Photographer: Lance Daly
Editor: J. Patrick Duffner
Production designer: Waldemar Kalinowski
Costume designer: Leonie Prendergast
Music: Go Blimps Go
Colour and B&W/CinemaScope/R16 violence, sexual references, offensive language

With: Kelly O'Neill (Kylie), Shane Curry (Dylan), Paul Roe (Dylan's Da), Neilí Conroy (Dylan's Ma), Stephen Rea (Down Under Dylan), David Bendito (dredger captain)

Festivals: Locarno, Toronto, London 2008; San Francisco 2009

A contemporary Irish fairytale about two runaway kids who spend a night in Dublin, Kisses begins in grim black and white the way The Wizard of Oz begins in Kansas. A few days before Christmas 12-year-old Dylan evades his violent father with the help of Kylie, his friend next door. The two head to town to find Dylan's brother. Their adventure is laced with magic – they spend their stolen dosh on wheelies and zip through the streets as if on enchanted shoes – and fraught with danger. The strengthening rapport of young newcomers Kelly O'Neill, all bravado and bad language, and Shane Curry, not so plucky, gives the film its glow. Dylan's namesake Bob contributes generously to the soundtrack to clinch the affecting mix of soulfulness and grit. — BG

“Daly catches the spirit of two resourceful kids who have a lot of gumption to go with their grave suspicion of grownups, and his two young stars are unforgettable.” — Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter

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