if you  can’t be good ….be careful – (belfast)

“Belfast” is the best movie by  Kenneth Branagh, at last in my book. Golden Globe winner for best screenplay, so well deserved!!!. So far have the movie got 21 international awards.

“it’s not how the story ends … it’s rather the place it begins”

Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast” is a love letter to the city in which he was born and raised but it is also so much more; a film about family and about history, both recent and history going back a few hundred years.


He based this film on his childhood experiences growing up in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s. a story is seen through the eyes of a child.

Northern Ireland in the late 1960s. At the centre of the action is Buddy, a young boy approaching adolescence. Buddy’s life is filled with family love, playfulness and thriving romance. But as his beloved hometown is hit by growing unrest, his family faces an important choice.

I completely fell in love with the script, it’s funny, it’s deep, turns a somewhat complex concept into a fair enough simple plot by the eyes of a child and what a performance by Jude Hill. He steals the whole attention since the beginning, authentic and emotional performance.

It’s an absolutely gorgeous movie, and easily one of the best films of the year! It’s pure, honest, very human and all-around very wholesome and lovely.

Belfast became my home town in 1999 and only a couple of days before I moved there both the Multi-Party Agreement and British-Irish Agreement as effective on 2 December 1999, but that didn’t mean that we all started to love each other.

For 10 years it embraced me. I never felt threatened, even if I lived only a few blocks from a segregated area where only a road separated catholic and protestant areas, there were problems at times.

my photo

I was there when Belfast turned into a hot spot… fantastic restaurants opened up, trendy hotels, bars and nightclubs. I returned to Sweden in 2009 and in 2018 Belfast was one of National Geographic’s top 12 destinations.

my photo

Once Belfast was famous for the tobacco industry and shipbuilding, the birth of the Titanic. Today filmmaking is one of Northern Ireland’s main industries. “Game of Thrones” was mostly made in Northern Ireland. 

The cast is phenomenal;
• Jude Hill as Buddy
• Caitríona Balfe as “Ma”, Buddy’s mother
• Jamie Dornan as “Pa”, Buddy’s father
• Judi Dench as “Granny”, Buddy’s grandmother
• Ciarán Hinds as “Pop”, Buddy’s grandfather
• Lewis McAskie as Will, Buddy’s older brother

Jude Hill (2010) is a Northern Irish child actor. that started his acting career in 2021.

Caitríona Balfe is an Irish actress, producer, and former fashion model. She is best known for her starring role as Claire Fraser in the historical drama series “Outlander”


James Dornan is an actor, model, and musician from Northern Ireland. Best known as Christian Grey from the “Shade of Grey” – movies.


Dame Judith Dench, I don’t think I was to introduce. What a phenomenal actor!!!!!


 Ciarán Hinds is a Belfast born actor, that I know from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and First Man (2017).

the stage

Lewis McAskie (2005) also a young Belfast actor. Like Jude Hill started his acting career in 2021..


An enjoyable film focusing on a family caught up in the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland. It’s very entertaining thanks to the young star, Jude Hill, who has lots of funny moments due to his childhood innocence.  

“Belfast” really is one of those movies that has everything. Maybe not a perfect film, but a darn good one. Easily touches the heart.

Soundtrack / Music by Belfast’s son, Van Morrison


“All the Irish need to survive is a phone,
a Guinness and the sheet music to “Danny Boy”.
Auntie Violet (Belfast 2021)

9 thoughts on “if you  can’t be good ….be careful – (belfast)

  1. I absolutely love clicking on a friend’s post to find something not expected in the least ! As here !! Oh yes, I well remember you talking about your successful and happy career years in Belfast . . . but could not foretell you would take me there this morning. I have been very lucky to have had a number of dear friends in Ireland . . . in Dublin . . . well, way back I nearly married one of them . . . but I know very little abut the North !!! I have not seen Kenneth Branagh’s film – indeed cinematic arts have lately passed me by . . . but I have always thought the world of KB and, as you say, little indeed has to be said about Dame Judy ! Have hugely enjoyed scrolling thru’ the above – now onto further discovery . . . thank you and take care . . .

  2. I’m making myself a note to add this moive to my watch list. It looks and sounds wonderful. When we visited Ireland a few years back (well, guess it’s been longer than a few years adding the extra no travel years of Covid), but we didn’t get to Belfast. I was disappointed by that.

    • Sandy, you would have loved Belfast … calm and friendly and a lot cheaper than Dublin. Northern Irelan is where most of “Game of the Thrones” was filmed. Fantastic countryside .. just like the rest of Ireland. Ireland is pure magic. Glad that “Belfast” was nominated for Oscar and won for Best Original Screenplay. It’s a feel-good movie.

  3. Hi Viveka, glad you saw and enjoyed the movie. I checked in on your blog nearly 10 years ago when Stena Voyager reached (his) final destination. Glad to see you are still well and posting and staying safe.

    • Hi there, that was a sad thing … HER final destination. *laughing The movie is great, brilliant story and fabulous actors. And he got an Oscar for best screenplay. I’m still alive and kicking, but not very well .. it’s what it’s to come old. After my cancer journey, it has gone very quickly downhill with the strong Swedish Viking. Free from cancer for 12 years now. But those that say age is just a number … are too young to know. Nice to hear from you. !!!!!

  4. Pingback: if you  can’t be good ….be careful – (belfast) – Shannon's Shenanigans

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