Mighty Quinn Brothers - Toronto Sun,
19 September 1998

by Bob Thompson

You can always tell an Irishman but you can't tell him much -- as in, you'll never make that movie.
The mighty Quinns, being Irish-Americans, needed that heritage of stubbornness to lean on occasionally. But 12 years after movie conception, Aidan, Paul and Declan Quinn finally bring their film baby to the festival.
It's called This Is My Father, written and directed by 38-year-old Paul, photographed by 40-year-old Declan and starring 39-year-old Aidan.
The picture also features James Caan, Colm Meaney, Stephen Rea and Moya Farrelly with a cameo by another Irish expatriate, John Cusack.
To say that the Quinn brothers were pleased with the movie as they gathered to talk about it in a Four Seasons Hotel room yesterday would be an Irish understatement.
And there aren't many of those.
This Is My Father is an emotionally telling tale of a Chicago teacher's (Caan) search for his patriarchal identity through his Irish heritage. He returns to the Irish home of his mother and his unknown father to search for answers.
When he does, the teacher slowly uncovers the achingly sad story of his parents' brief encounter, which features Aidan as the father.
So Aidan is the lead. But what other reasons did Aidan have for making Paul's film?
"Blatant nepotism," said Aidan laughing at his joke before confiding the real reason.
He said he remembered reading the screenplay, then immediately calling his brother "overwrought and blubbering" to tell him he was in.
Truth is, Aidan wasn't a big enough attraction for the moneymen despite his previous high-profile movie track record. When Caan, Cusack and Meaney were persuaded a few years ago, the Quinns got a green light.
Even with that lineup, the Canadian-Irish co-production had a tight 1997 shooting schedule in Montreal which passed for Chicago and, later that summer, in the midlands of Ireland.
"We only had a 37-day shoot in Ireland," noted Paul, who added that it was hardly enough time for a few pints let alone the making of the demanding period piece.
The Quinns did it, however. And they are proud of the result.
Amazingly enough, there remains only one leftover gripe between the brothers who admit to a few raging battles growing up in Chicago.
"Paul told me that the bigger I was, the better for the part," said Aidan who obliged by eating lots of eggs and sausage and drinking pails of Guinness.
More than a year later, Aidan grabbed at his belly to make his point. "I can't lose the 25 pounds I gained," he said.
Playful vanity sacrifices aside, all three Quinns plan to work together again. They are preparing a yarn about an Irish family growing up Chicago.
Sounds like this one -- unlike This Is My Father -- just might be an autobiographical comedy.

Taken from the Canoe.ca website