Branagh's style is suited for a bit of retro charm with a wink and a nudge, but doing half a Schindler's List really isn't something he can pull off. Belfast is a hopelessly outdated film, with a fake arthouse look, a random score and a set of unlovable characters. Putting it like that, it's a perfect Oscar contender.
Buddy is a young kid growing up in Belfast. Protestants are targeting Christians, his dad works in England to pay off their debt, and he isn't able to talk to his favorite girl in school. As the civil unrest grows, his parents are contemplating moving to a different city, something Buddy can't even fathom.
The black and white cinematography appears to have been an afterthought, the city looks like a bad movie set, characters are bland and Buddy is a pretty annoying kid. It's just a very cheesy and sentimental drama where the drama never feels earned or sincere. Branagh should stick to Poirot.