Cal is a young man on the fringes of the I.R.A., but he falls in love with a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, has been killed a year earlier by the I.R.A.
Cal (John Lynch), as I have said, loves Marcella (Dame Helen Mirren) and put together such a wonderful performance that Mirren won the award of Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984.
Two quotes covering this were:
- Dirk Bogarde was President of the Jury that year and wrote to his friend Kathleen Tynan to say that while he’d seen some ‘pretty crummy movies’, he had also watched ‘a modest, excellent little film about the Irish Business for which, to my delight (and astonishment) Helen Mirren won Best Actress’.
- Nigel Andrews of the Financial Times stated that ‘Cal is the most moving and convincing portrait of life in Northern Ireland the cinema has yet given us’.