Kenneth Branagh Britain Ireland film pandemic actor Kenneth Branagh Britain Ireland

‘Belfast’ Review: What’s Black and White and ‘Roma’ All Over Again?

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Peter Debruge Chief Film CriticUntil watching Kenneth Branagh’s wistfully autobiographical “Belfast,” I don’t think I realized that one of Britain’s greatest living actors — a talent who’s embodied everything from Henry V to Hercule Poirot, Kurt Wallander to Laurence Olivier — had been born in Northern Ireland.

Maybe that’s because his family got out and moved to Reading, England, when he was 9 years old, just as the Troubles were coming to a boil, an escape that spared him the accent and what could have been a premature end.That strategy makes it easy to guess on which side of the nationalist divide the Branaghs found themselves (hint: the reunification-minded Catholics wanted to cut ties with England, while the loyalist Protestants clung.

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