5

I watched this a few years ago, maybe in 2014 or so, on a DVD I got from the library (I plan to comb through my history there, but I checkout a lot of material from the library, so it's tricky). The main protagonist is a male writer, I think maybe a poet, whose wife died prior to the start of the story. There was a situation somewhere early in the film where he was buttonholed by a man in a pub who "wanted to show him something he'd written". A group of writers are in town — I don't remember if it was a convention or a competition, but I remember it being something formal — and I think he volunteered to help them around. One of the visiting writers is a woman, and they start falling for each other, culminating in sleeping together.

The fantasy aspect is that he might be haunted by his wife's ghost, although it's ambiguous enough that he might just be hallucinating from guilt. I remember a scene where he opened up a closet and is dragged down by hands reaching out from the bottom (he wakes up a bit later, and figures it for a bad dream) and near the end of the movie, he walks into his bedroom, sits down on the bed, and his wife (naked, I think) is suddenly sitting on the other side of the bed and they have a conversation about moving on, I think related to him starting up a romance with the visiting writer, and suddenly his wife is gone. And I think after that, the film ended.

Given the thick accents (very inconvenient because the DVD had no subtitles or close-captioning), I'm pretty sure it was filmed in Ireland with natives. The visiting writer, though, was not from there, might have been from the United States or the England. I have this vague impression that the protagonist might have had adult children who he calls at one point, but I don't remember any details.

4

This is The Eclipse (2009)

This review mentions an Irish writer at a festival, plagued by ghosts including those of his wife and father-in-law.

Michael is a driver at the 11th Annual Cobh Literary Festival, where some of the anglophonic world's best and brightest writers meet in an unheard-of seaside town to do all the things that people do at festivals and conferences: spend an hour talking about your working and meeting fans, and then the rest of the multi-day stay getting roaringly drunk and screwing around with other festival attendees. This latter part certainly applies to two American, Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle), an author noted for her dramatically sensitive ghost stories, and Nicholas Holden (Quinn), whose particular genre is never really noted, although it is probably a very smug, assholey genre, like technocratic spy novels or sarcastic deconstructions of suburban mores or Twilight rip-offs, given that every single thing we see him do in the four days that the movie spans leads us to believe that he is a smug asshole himself, yammering on at a Q&A about the upcoming movie adaptation of one of his hugely bestselling books, and oh yeah, he was married the year before when he hooked up with Lena, and he still is, hasn't told his wife, and he's so shocked that Lena might not actually want to rekindle their old dalliance that he stalks her pretty much from the second that his plane lands, just to make sure she's not playing hard to get.

Michael spends some time driving both of these two, but he gets much more satisfaction out of his trips with Lena; she is a kindly sort, who listens when appropriate and says only smart and wise things when she speaks, and they forge a really nice little friendship over the course of the festival, the kind of friendship that could turn into something bigger at any second. This would already cause Michael some problems, we could expect - in the time since his wife died, he apparently hasn't so much as thought the word "woman" - and he has even more to deal with, in the form of those ghostly visitations from his wife's dad, alive and well in a nursing home, but still appearing occasionally to scare the shit out of Michael and leave him something of a nervous wreck every moment of every day.

  • That pings all of my points, and it's on my library list. Thank you. – FuzzyBoots Nov 3 '17 at 13:40
  • I also remember now that I hadn't actually intended to check this movie out, but rather a different one of the same name involving a cult planning to do a dark sacrifice on the day of a solar eclipse. – FuzzyBoots May 9 at 16:31

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