Pixie Hardy (Olivia Cooke) is planning to get away, to leave the beautiful coasts of Sligo for bigger ventures. The only issue is her plan to do so isn’t exactly legal — or safe. When she finds herself in trouble, she is inadvertently saved as Frank (Ben Hardy) and Harland (Daryl McCormack) throw themselves in the deep end instead. Eventually, the trio team up to clean up their mess together, and cause a hell of a lot more on the way.
Pixie sets itself up as a dangerous crime flick is really a buddy road trip movie in disguise. It’s much less high-octane drama and much more slow-burn, black comedy western. Directed by Barnaby Thompson, whose previous credits include the St Trinian’s movies, Pixie would feel comfortably at home amongst Martin McDonagh’s repertoire.
Pixie isn’t an action thriller because its core is all about not taking yourself too seriously. The film doesn’t, nor do most of the characters in it — and the ones who do are the ones who suffer because of it. Pixie works because it is pure fun.
It also works because of the stellar ensemble of a cast. Cooke and Hardy attempt the notoriously difficult Irish accent with ease, aided by the presence of locals such as McCormack and other cast members. The three of them carry the film effortlessly, coasting off its natural humour. Placed in the most insane situations, Pixie and the guys act as if they’re chatting over a pub table with not a care in the world. Any viewer is put at ease by their nonchalance, until you realise Pixie has wrapped you around her finger just as much as she has everyone else, and that’s all down to Cooke. Olivia Cooke successfully holds her own and cements herself as a star, and she does so with confidence. In a film otherwise filled with men, it is Pixie who holds all the cards and Cooke doesn’t let you forget it.
There’s also a great few cameos sprinkled throughout, while I don’t want to spoil, I will say that fans of Chris O’Dowd’s Moone Boy should keep an eye out. All of this aids in making the film feel authentically Irish (though I can’t speak to the existence of drug dealing Priests). Filmed across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Pixie’s shining moments are where it highlights the beauty of the west coast. Juxtaposed with the dark tones of the plot, it helps to create this seemingly fantastical world where these gangster Priests run rampant all while serving the Lord.
Overall, Pixie is just great craic, really. It leaves you pumping with adrenaline, longing for adventure, and wanting to tell everyone about it. Mostly, it’s a film that makes me feel like I’m going to hell just for watching it, but damn, it might just be worth it.
Pixie is available in select cinemas and on VOD from March 5th
by Georgia Carroll
Georgia (she/her) is a Broadcast Journalist from Manchester. Her love for films stems from a passion for reading as a child and extends to a love for music through soundtracks, and her Manc roots. She’s a sucker for anything 80s or Sci-Fi, but won’t watch a horror movie if you pay her. Favourite films: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Coco, Back to the Future. Twitter: @georgiacarroll_ Letterboxd: @georgia_ Instagram: @georgia.carroll