Circle of Friends
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Set in 1957, this romantic coming-of-age story follows three childhood friends from a small town in Ireland as they head to Dublin to attend Trinity College. Nan (Saffron Burrows), a year older than her friends and already in her second year at Trinity, is ambitious, romantic, and just a bit reckless. She hopes to win the hand of Simon (Colin Firth), an older Protestant land-owner who would help her rise up the social and economic ladder. Eve (Geraldine O'Rawe), a bit more pragmatic and cautious, finds herself falling for a boy named Aidan (Aidan Gillen). Bernadette (Minnie Driver), called… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Three female friends grow up in a small town in Ireland in the mid-50s and attend college in Dublin in this nostalgic soap opera that's vaguely evocative of Peyton Place, though generally less memorable."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Beyond eliciting warm, animated performances from his actors (with a cast that also includes Alan Cumming as a hair-raising suitor of Benny's), Mr. O'Connor gives Circle of Friends an enveloping look and sound."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"An enchanting, if denture-rottingly sweet, yarn."
‑ Caroline Westbrook, Empire Magazine
"Sweet Irish melodrama, with a hilariously oily performance by Alan Cumming."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Sweet, funny, and full of the charming Minnie Driver."
‑ Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com
"Old-fashioned and nostalgic, Pat O'Connor's nicely directed tale of friendship between three Irish girls features a strong central performance from Minnie Driver that promises a bright future in Hollywood pictures."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"Driver's tough core of honesty and wit is bewitching. So's the movie."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"A familiar tale of busty lasses and lusty lads, it's lent extra weight by fine writing and accomplished performances."
‑ , Film4
"It's intelligent and moving and it never resorts to cheap melodrama."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Definitely in the Masterpiece Theatre tradition; it's soft and safe, but extraordinarily easy to take."
‑ Stephen Farber, Movieline
"The fizzing dialogue gets all the little details right, but the plot's nothing new, and the lingering shots of hibernian greenery aim straight for mid-Atlantic bland-out."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Young Benny has a nice smile, and she and Jack seem like pleasant people, but in the end (and in the beginning and in the middle) it's hard to get worked up about them."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Driver, who delivers a piercingly subjective performance, is the linchpin of the film's quiet appeal."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Wry, wise, and wonderful valentine to intimate matters of the heart."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"The movie, a self-consciously simple exercise in familiarity, sometimes lapses into complacency."
‑ Bob Thompson, Jam! Movies
More reviews for Circle of Friends on Rotten Tomatoes