Christmas is right around the corner, a time for forgiveness for the family. But the holidays can be dramatic family occasions as well. The plot of director Ed Burns’ new film, “The Fitzgerald Family Christmas”, shows just that family dynamic. It’s a return to his Irish-American roots, as the film explores the complex relationships between siblings and parents, which tend to be heightened around the holidays. Burns wrote, directed and acted in this film, alongside co-star Connie Britton. He also shot the film in the neighborhoods where he grew up in Long Island.
“The Fitzgerald Family Christmas” is reminiscent of his directorial debut in “The Brothers McMullen”, which was also written by Burns and starred him in it. It told the story of three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island struggling to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity. Burns comes to talk about the new film and its connection to his first one this morning on “Starting Point”.
“It was a conscious decision on my part, 17 years later, which is scary,” Burns says, “to go back to that milieu, that world, and literally, a homecoming.” He says the way he shot the film, “the Fitzgerald’s live about 6 doors down from where the McMullens lived in Valley Stream, Long Island,” which is his own neighborhood.
“It’s not autobiographical,” Burns says, “but the Fitzgerald’s definitely come from the same world that I came from. They grew up in the same neighborhood, shaped by the same experiences, went to the same schools. So it was one of those screenplays that really poured out of me.”