The seventh Chicago Irish Film Festival runs Friday through Wednesday, March 3 through 8, at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Tickets for the opening-night program and reception are $30, for the closing-night program and reception $20, and for the remaining programs $10. A festival pass, good for all events, is $65. For more information call 773-445-3838; a complete festival schedule is available at

The opening-night feature, What Means Motley? (2005, 90 min.), is based on a true story, though this amiable caper comedy more closely resembles something from the Ealing Studios. In 1999 Barry Mulligan, Ireland’s honorary consul in Bucharest, arranged visas for a Romanian folk choir to compete in a Sligo festival, but once the 41 singers had deplaned in Dublin, they all defected, never to be heard from officially again. Mulligan contributed to the script and stars–not as himself but as a low-level Irish con man who invents the scam to rescue a distressed young beauty (Irina Dinescu) and her tone-deaf cohorts from a Eurotrash loan shark and the Gypsy Mafia. John Riley and John Ketchum directed this fast-moving, visually inventive film, also known as Sliding Dice. In English and subtitled Romanian. (Fri 3/3, 7 PM)

J.R. Jones named Breakfast on Pluto among the best films of 2005: “Cillian Murphy gives a tour de force performance as Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden, a cross-dressing Irish teenager in early-70s London who’s less concerned with the IRA activity going on all around him than with finding his long-lost mother, who abandoned him on a priest’s doorstep. This is adapted from a 1998 novel by Patrick McCabe, but its tale of a beautiful dreamer traipsing through a junkyard of ugly realities is a natural for Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), who sets it to a killer vintage-pop sound track. Kitten passes from one mentor to another–Liam Neeson as the fatherly priest, Stephen Rea as a sly magician, Brendan Gleeson as an angry fair worker who wears an animal costume–but by the end of the story the shrinking violet has become the toughest soul on the block, not to mention the best dressed.” 129 min. (Sun 3/5, 4 PM)