It’s a rare thing to find a masterpiece of cinema crafted from a masterpiece of literature. But John Huston did that with his very last film, essentially directed on his deathbed. Huston left America to become an Irish citizen for the latter part of his long life and he often said that his reason for doing so was his love of James Joyce’s ULYSSES which he read as a young man. His final film brings him full circle. This is a thoroughly Irish film but like much of early Huston, it’s shot totally on Hollywood sets.
It has a cast of little known Irish players, the only notable name being his daughter Anjelica(wonderful as always). Her performance as Greta Conroy is beyond amazing. Especially in the scene where she pauses on a stairway at the end of a party to listen to Bartell D’Arcy singing “The Lass of Aughrim”, the cross-cutting between her husband Gabriel(Donal McCann) who has never seen his wife so possessed as this and his wife Greta who is transported into some distant memory of the past, of a great mysterious world emphasizes the essence of Joyce’s masterpiece and does it cinematically.