“Belfast”, Kenneth Branagh’s coming-of-age film, never finds quite the right tone or “The Troubles”.

Belfast

It is just OK. Although Kenneth Branagh found a wonderful young actor (Jude Hill) to play his younger self in his semi-autobiographical “Belfast”, he never manages to integrate his family’s story into the Northern Ireland conflict – aka the Troubles – in a way that resonates like Alfonso Cuaron did with Mexico during a similar time period in “Roma”. Filmed in black-and-white, Branagh favors sentimentality and sugarcoating over depth. With Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan as his mom and dad and Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds as his grandparents. They are all as good as you could have hoped for. Unfortunately, every thirty minutes, Branagh interrupts the flow with yet another montage accompanied by Van Morrison’s greatest hits. Does the man have no shame?

NOW SHOWING IN SELECT MOVIE THEATRES

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