Joyride, the debut feature film from Oscar-winning documentary-maker Emer Reynolds, was shown at the opening of the Galway Film Fleadh this week.
Raheny, Dublin-born director Reynolds is known for The Farthest but her latest feature is a warm-hearted on-the-road story, notable for the chemistry between its two stars.
In a strong performance, and with a commendable Irish accent, Olivia Colman plays Joy, a ‘saucy solicitor’ with a fondness for vodka-and-tonic, while Kildare teenager Charlie Reid plays Mully, who is mourning his departed mother Rita.
Desperate to stop his ne’er-do-well father (Lochlann O Méarainn) from stealing the money gathered at a charity fundraiser held in memory of his mother, Mully jumps into an idling taxi.
In the back seat is a slumbering, hungover Joy, accompanied by her week-old baby Robin.
The unlikely pair are thrown together, and they take off on a scenic caper around Co Kerry, with spectacular locations such as the Kells viaduct and the Bealach Oisin pass providing a visual treat.
Prickly Joy is unsure about keeping her baby while Mully is a natural carer, who gently shows her how to tend to the infant.
The best scenes show the growing bond between Joy and Mully while Emer Reynolds as director provides her always-deft touch.
Joyride opens in cinemas nationwide on 29 July.