On the eve of near-future Northern Ireland's first general election, well-marketed reformer Michael Brinn (Robert Lindsay), a shoo-in for prime minister, has newspaper columnist Dan Starkey's dander up. Working the election beat alongside visiting Boston Globe writer Charles Parker (Richard Gant), Starkey (David Thewlis) watches his pointed barbs slide off Brinn's Teflon-coated backside. Drowning his troubles in drink in a Belfast park, Starkey invites beautiful art student Margaret (Laura Fraser) to a friend's party, unaware of her ties to both the IRA and to Brinn's political party. When Starkey's wife (Laine Megaw) catches him canoodling with Margaret, she kicks Starkey out and he ends up in Margaret's bed. When the girl turns up mortally wounded a mere day later, mouthing the words "divorcing Jack" just before her death rattle, Starkey finds himself a suspect in the murder. Donning a ridiculous wig and going on the lam, he must fend off a nationwide manhunt while tracing the connection between Margaret's death and the upcoming election. Shown at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, this British/French co-production marked director David Caffrey's feature debut. Irish writer Colin Bateman adapted his own novel, one of several to feature Starkey as a protagonist.
by Brian J. Dillard synopsis