Sylvia (1985) is a biographical film about New Zealand educator Sylvia Ashton-Warner, inspired by two of her books. The film was directed and co-written by New Zealander Michael Firth, and stars British actor Eleanor David as Ashton-Warner, alongside Tom Wilkinson, Nigel Terry and Mary Regan. The Village Voice critic Andrew Sarris rated it one of the ten best films of 1985. It also won praise from Vogue.
Sweety Barrett is the moving and dramatic tale of an unlikely hero whose spectacular act of revenge gives hope to the people of a small Irish town. When Sweety Barrett (Brendan Gleeson) loses his job at a travelling circus he arrives in the port of Dockery, looking for work. Sweety's naive and simple nature makes him easy prey in this corrupt town of smugglers dominated by the vicious detective, Mannix Bone (Liam Cunningham). During the days Sweety strikes up a friendship with a six-year-old boy called Conor (newcomer Dylan Murphy), but at night he is unwittingly used by Bone and his gang to do their dirty work. When Conor's father Leo (Andy Serkis) is released from prison and resumes a vendetta with Bone, Sweety Barrett becomes an innocent party caught up in a dangerous and unexpected spiral of events. Just when it seems that Bone is getting away with murder Sweety exacts a spectacular revenge which transforms him into a redeeming hero for the whole town.