In Honor of Sinead O'Connor's Hilariously Weird Marriage, Here's Her Hilariously Weird Cameo as the Virgin Mary
Thank you, Baby Jesus, for the blessed month of December 2011, because it's given me the greatest gift of all: Sinead O'Connor's renewed relevance. The Irish singer was married less than three weeks ago to drugs counselor Barry Herridge, and already she's releasing cryptic press statements about the reasons they're divorcing. I guess marijuana is part of it? And a courtship that felt like "living in a coffin"? I don't know. But I do know that Sinead O'Connor's most hilariously bizarre moment has nothing to do with quickly nuptials -- it has to do with a 1997 film in which she played a foul-mouthed Virgin Mary. Know it?
The movie is The Butcher Boy, the tragicomic adaptation of Patrick McCabe's harrowing 1992 book about a traumatized Irish youth named Francie (Eamonn Owens) who finds himself at the mercy of an alcoholic father and a sexually abusive priest. For comfort, Francie momentarily turns to a vision he has of a cussing Virgin Mary, played with maternal grace by O'Connor. In this clip (at the 1:45 mark), the Virgin Mary appears for some surprise swearing and soothing.
In the movie's last few minutes (1:40, in this clip), the Virgin Mary reappears to a grownup Francie. The movie totally captures the wonderment and (often grim) awareness that comes with youth. Perhaps that's because it was directed by Neil Jordan, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Crying Game, which was a similarly provocative film about shattered illusions. To this date, it marks Sinead O'Connor's only major role. Literally, nothing compares 2 it.