One of two Irelands generally presides at the movies: There’s the sun-fed plush greens and surf-battered cliffs of a period or otherwise rustic romance, and then there’s the low-slung suburbs of a social realism piece, with its cool mauve tones of depletion. The latter forms the setting for Parked, the debut feature from director Darragh Byrne’s elegant, engaging meditation on displacement and the modern man. Colm Meaney plays Fred, an unemployed middle-age Ireland native just returned from years in England and sleeping in his car until life straightens out. In the parking lot he calls home, Fred meets Cathal
(Colin Morgan), a young drug addict, and the two trade tips on where to shower and find ways to pass the day’s painful
allotment of hours. Byrne and screenwriter Ciaran Creagh keep the dialogue spare and the direction focused on the actors, whose rapport is delicately observed and genuinely felt. So is the critique of a system that fails the people it is best
designed to help—those who, like the clocks Fred fixes as a hobby, just need “a good cleaning and a bit of nudge to spring back into life.” Michelle Orange