I went to Belgium last week and really enjoyed looking at all the old buildings and that. These ones were in Brussels…
I tried a few beers while I was in Belgium and my favourite was this delightful little blond. Seriously, I never liked beer. Well, maybe the very occasional Tiger with a Thai meal, but that’s it. Delirium Tremens, on the other hand, I can happily drink as I would cider or wine. It’s quite strong at 8.5% so it’s best to sip a small glass slowly.
A bit different to how we Brits usually drink beer eg by the pint and at speed! Anyway, this one is hard to get hold of here so I’m going to have to order it online if I want to drink it at home. What we can get hold of is another Belgian beer I liked, Duvel. And that brings me neatly to my Cider and Cinema Beer Special , featuring In Bruges.
Tonight’s beverage of choice is Duvel, a ‘Belgian Golden Ale’ (so the label says). Because I’m not a beer drinker I’m not really sure how to talk about beer… tips, anyone? Umm…well, I like it. It doesn’t have that metallic weird taste that makes my eyes go squinty.
Anyway, I’m waffling. Tonight’s film is In Bruges. I watched it last night too, but my boyfriend wanted to watch it again, so we did.
I don’t want to give anything away, because you need to watch this if you haven’t already, so I’ll just say… It stars the awesome and amazing Brendan Gleeson from the truly excellent Calvary**. He’s just so good. In everything he does. He’s one of my favourites.
Amazingly, as if by the power of osmosis, Colin Farrell is actually very good, too. He’s usually shit, right? Or does he just choose bad films? I’m looking at you, Total Recall remake.
So, the nutshell version is that Ralph Fiennes sends Gleeson and Farrell go to Bruges, for some reason. Gleeson’s Ken likes it. He enjoy the medieval buildings, the twinkly lights and the whole fairy tale feel of the place. Farrell’s Ray, on the other hand, is like a stroppy teenager. He’s not into gothic architecture. He thinks the place is a shit hole. But he’s clearly wrong, I’ve just been there and it’s absolutely beautiful. I think it might be my favourite place. If the Tories haven’t abolished retirement by that point, I’d like to spend my twilight years there.
This is the tower and square that feature heavily in the film, as well as views from the top
So what’s so good about In Bruges? It has an engaging plot, which upon first viewing is actually pretty mysterious. Both Glesson and Farrell give strong, emotional performances but there’s also some wonderfully dark humour. I also really liked the way they used Bruges itself as part of the story. I’m not sure about Fiennes as a mockney gangster. I mean, I can buy him as a psychopathic hard-man but the accent just didn’t work for me. Although I did enjoy this…
If you have the opportunity to go to Bruges, GO! You can go on a boat ride on the canal just like they did in the film. We did it and it was 16 euros well spent.
If you can’t get to Bruges, you could always get some imported beers in and watch In Bruges instead.
*The man at the Beer Museum told us that you pour the beer so the foam overflows, scrap the foam off the top of the glass and dip the glass in a sink full of water to clean it.
**Gleeson also worked with In Bruges writer/director, Martin McDonagh, on the very enjoyable Seven Psycopaths. He’s also the protagonist in McDonagh’s brother’s ‘suicide trilogy’ which started with the brilliant The Guard and was followed up by quite excellent Calvary. The final film has yet to be released but I’m sure as shit it’ll be good.