Like many Irishmen before him, Pat O'Connor left his homeland as a young man to seek his fame and fortune. Immigrating first to London and then the USA, he eventually attended UCLA as an undergraduate...
|Circle of Friends||1995||Director||n/a||4|
|Night in Tunisia||1992 1991 - 1992||Director||n/a||4|
|The Ballroom of Romance||1980||Director||n/a||4|
|Stars & Bars||1988||Director||n/a||4|
|Inventing the Abbotts||1997||Director||n/a||4|
|Dancing At Lughnasa||1998||Director||n/a||4|
|Fools of Fortune||1990||Director||n/a||4|
|A Month in the Country||1988||Director||n/a||4|
|Night in Tunisia||1992 1991 - 1992||Producer||n/a||3|
|Immigrated to London and later to the USA|
|Made second feature, "A Month in the Country", with Kenneth Branagh, Colin Firth and Natasha Richardson|
|Helmed the screen adaptation of the hit stage play "Dancing at Lughnasa"|
|Helmed the thriller "The January Man"|
|Moved to London; began working for the BBC|
|Returned to Ireland after studying at UCLA and Ryerson Institute (date approximate)|
|Had critical and box office success with "Circle of Friends", starring Minnie Driver|
|Directed the well-received "Inventing the Abbots"|
|Became trainee producer-director with Radio Telefis Eirann (RTE) in Ireland; began making documentaries before moving into dramatic programs|
|Returned to London; directed "Fools of Fortune"|
|Directed the remake of "Sweet November"|
|Raised in Lismore, Ireland|
|Breakthrough TV program, the award-winning "The Ballroom of Romance"|
|Feature directorial debut, "Cal" starring Helen Mirren and John Lynch|
|First US film, the comedy "Stars and Bars", starring Daniel Day-Lewis; film abandoned by studio|
Despite the fine acting of the ensembles, O'Connor's next three features proved disappointing. "Stars and Bars" (1988), a fish-out-of-water story with Daniel Day-Lewis as a art expert who encounters a clan of Southern Gothics, proved not as amusing as it could have been. "The January Man" (1989) was a Hollywood comedy thriller that lost the backing of its studio. While it had a strong cast (Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel, Rod Steiger and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), the final version veered between offbeat romance and cop thriller and proved a critical and commercial disappointment. "Fools of Fortune" (1990) teamed Mastrantonio (whom O'Connor married) and Julie Christie in a period drama set during the Irish war of independence and again failed to spark much interest. The director bounced back at the helm of the hit "Circle of Friends" (1995), an ensemble drama about a group of Irish university students that was dominated by a star-making turn by Minnie Driver. "Inventing the Abbotts" (1997), although little more than a superior soap opera exploring the power of gossip in a small community, featured strong acting from a group of rising stars (e.g., Billy Crudup, Joanna Going, Liv Tyler, Joaquin Phoenix). Returning to his Irish roots, O'Connor scored again with the film adaptation of Brian Friel's award-winning play "Dancing at Lughnasa" (1998). The story of five unmarried sisters in rural Eire, the film functioned as a mood piece, examining the hopes and failures of the women. Meticulously directed, it was a triumph for both the director and his powerhouse cast which included Meryl Streep (adding a brogue to her accents), Kathy Burke, Catherine McCormack, Sophie Thompson and Brid Brennan, recreating her stage role.
|Mary Mastrantonio||Wife||born on November 17, 1958; directed her in "The January Man" (1989) and "Fools of Fortune" (1990)|
|Declan O'Connor||Son||born in January 1997|
|Jack O'Connor||Son||born c. 1992|
|University of California at Los Angeles|
|Ryerson Polytechnical University|
|From INDIEWIRE (www.indiewire.com) November 16, 1998:
Gesha-Marie Bryant: Do you picture yourself as an auteur, or is that term too pretentious for you?
Pat O'Connor: I think it's a word that is overused, misleading and, yes, a little pretentious. Filmmaking is very personal for me.
|"Pat has the ability to make room for the imagination to flourish. His thinking is balanced but driven by the energy of a fanatic. It is a unique quality, which I can only describe as passsionately reasonable." --Colin Firth quoted in PREMIERE, December 1988|
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