Waking Ned Devine (1998)

Imdb Ranking 7.2

The National Lottery was held and Jackie O'Shea notices in the paper that the winner was from their tiny village (52 people) of Tullymore. He tells his friend Michael O'Sullivan and together they set out to find out who the winner was.

We meet some of the local characters including Maggie O'Toole, who loves Ben "Pig" Finn, but can't stand the smell of the pigs on him. Michael, Jackie and Jackie's wife Annie all speculate as to whom the winner might be.

Jackie buys Finn a pint, for the first time, and spends some other money on the locals, just as insurance. The boys then invite every one to a chicken dinner. At the dinner the boys and Jackie start working the crowd, searching for the winner. Ned Devine didn't show up for the dinner, so Jackie brings it over to his house. He finds New Dead, in front of the TV with the winning ticket in his hand.

Jackie has a dream that Ned would want them to share the money. Ned has no relations, so the money will go unclaimed. Since he wrote his name on the back, one of them is going to have to pretend to be Ned to claim the money. They call the lottery office and put in a claim.

A man, Jim Kelly, shows up from the lottery office looking for Ned , and Michael rushes over to Ned's house to beat him there. Jim tells Michael (as Ned) that he has won 6,894,620 pounds. He almost kills Michael too.

Jackie then decides that they should split the money between all 52 people in the village. He says: "I'm not a great man for telling things the way they are. I mean, I've been known to add a little color to stories and riddles for the benefit of those who will listen. Yet here tonight I can swear that all I've told you is true. The money will be claimed and divided equally between the fifty two of us. Now it was wrong, to think I could claim the money meself. That's not what Ned wants. He wants us to share the winnings. A nest stake for us all. So now if the lotto man comes to the village, you say that Ned Devine is alive and well, and you point your finger to Michael O'Sullivan."

Everyone from town agrees to the plan, except for Lizzy Quinn. Lizzy says that if you report a fraud to the Lotto people you get 10% of the winnings. Lizzy is looking to get more, she wants a million. Meanwhile, the town buries Ned. When Jim Kelly shows up at the church service, Jackie gives a eulogy for Michael. "Michael O'Sullivan was my great friend. But I don't ever remember telling him that. The words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead. What a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral. To sit at the front and hear what was said, maybe say a few things yourself. Michael and I grew old together. But at times, when we laughed, we grew younger. If he was here now, if he could hear what I say, I'd congratulate him on being a great man, and thank him for being a friend."

Lizzy gets whats coming to her, and is out of the way forever and the village parties on. No more pigs for Finn so he gets Maggie. Then Maggie tells Jackie something really ironic, Her son's mystery father was not Finn, but was actually Ned Devine, but she doesn't want anyone to know.

A wonderful old-style movie that is beautifully filmed and wonderfully acted.