TIFF review: Float Like A Butterfly

Coming-of-age film about a boxing-loving girl in 1960s Ireland pulls some of its punches

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY DISC D: Carmel Winters. 101 min. Sep 8, 2:15 pm, TBLB 3 Sep 10, 7 pm, Scotiabank 8 Sep 14, 3:15 pm, Scotiabank 11. See listing. Rating: NNN

In 1960s Ireland, a feisty, Muhammad Ali-admiring girl named Frances (Hazel Doupe) from the Irish Travellers community balks against gender conformity, all while being raised by her hot-headed, ex-con alcoholic dad (Dara Devaney).

Writer/director Winters’s second feature isn’t subtle in showing the Travellers’ mistreatment by others, and the fiddle-heavy score wears out its welcome very quickly.

But the stone-faced, determined Doupe and the charismatic, self-destructive Devaney are fascinating to watch as they symbolically – and then literally – spar. And the landscape has a rugged, unsentimental beauty.

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