Observer reporter Shaun Reynolds explains why heart-warming film is his Christmas favourite:
With an interest in Ireland – the country, sport, music – my favourite Christmas film regards two mischievous pensioners aiming to claim a fortune.
The film, Waking Ned Devine.
It’s not neccessarily a Christmas film as such, however it’s always one that has come out of the extended DVD shelf in our household.
Staring actors including James Nesbitt and the late David Kelly – Waking Ned sees a local village man , Ned Devine, lose his life immediately after winning over £6million on the lottery.
It is Jackie O’Shea and Michael O’Sullivan who pose as Ned to claim the winnings and bring the village of Tulaigh Mhór – population of 52 – a total fortune.
The film features a number of classic Irish tunes, including The Parting Glass – covered by Ed Sheeran in recent years – and various feet-tapping tunes played on the violin and penny whistle.
Not spoiling the ending too much, the film pays tribute to Ned at the end overlooking the Irish countryside.
With a budget of £3million, director Kirk Jones managed to turn that sum into a £50,000,000 swing after the film was released.
It’s now become a ‘pre-match’ ritual as Waking Ned seems to bring good fortune to myself, especially when watched on the Monday before the annual Cheltenham Festival starts.
Certainly a film to try out over the Christmas period.