One of the BBC channels over here (BBC4) has been having an Irish week. I caught two most entertaining films, I Went Down and Saltwater. Both starred Brendan Gleeson and Peter McDonald, and both were written by Conor McPherson, who also directed the latter.

Anyone who hasn't seen either or both is in for a treat. They're both very well-written and well-acted (though I had to switch on the subtitles, as a lot of the Irish accents were beyond me). I Went Down is more serious, but not without humorous moments. Saltwater has at least three different storylines which don't hold together all that well, but is very endearing and has one real laugh-out-loud moment as well as a serious undercurrent.

My admiration for Gleeson grows every time I see him: his characters in these films are quite different, and different again from his role in In Bruges. I'd never seen or heard of Peter McDonald before, but he was also impressive in an understated way.