Feel-Good Biopic a Paddington Vibes

There is a recent trend in Hollywood biopics to focus on someone who has been maligned by the media, sometimes even by the culture at large, and reframe their narrative. think about 2017 I Tony 2019 Richard Jewell, or last year Tammy Faye’s eyes, to cite some of the most well-received examples. Craig Roberts The ghost of the open is a new entry in this canon, and a good one. But unlike those mentioned above, it happily plays like a comedy for most of its runtime. The film’s focus on its actual subject matter is less serious than sincere, in a way that makes sense after learning that screenwriter Simon Farnaby also co-wrote paddington 2. There’s no denying that much of what the protagonist does is hilarious and laugh-worthy. The narrative often struggles to elicit that reaction from its viewers. But Roberts’s film succeeds where much of the contemporary coverage has failed because of his investment in the difference between laughing with him, as the public learns to do, and laughing a to the.

Based on the biography of the same name by Farnaby and Scott Murray, The ghost of the open tells the story of Maurice Flitcroft, played here by Mark Rylance. Maurice, a working-class crane operator and a born dreamer who has put aside his ambitions for the sake of his family, learns that he is likely to be laid off soon and his wife, Jean (Sally Hawkins), encourages him to continue. yours passion for once As she tries to decide what it could be, she attends a golf tournament on television one night and it’s like she’s finally found her calling. Having never played anything in his life, he entered the 1976 British Open Championship qualifier. Convinced that golf was his next professional endeavor, he called himself a professional. He then shows up, after some impromptu training, and does exactly what should happen when a complete rookie joins a pro competition: he shoots the worst “pro” score in the history of the competition.

Immediately afterward, Maurice is shunned by the golf community, appearing on the national news as a hoax and being labeled “The World’s Worst Golfer.” Seen from the outside, all these reactions make sense, but The ghost of the openThe first act of is dedicated to laying the groundwork for understanding why they were wrong. Audiences leave the visually playful montage chronicling Maurice’s life, beginning with the film knowing exactly who he is at the heart of it, particularly his unique philosophical cocktail of dreamy realism and romanticism. He makes life-changing decisions in an instant, always erring on the side of love and kindness, and declares them with the same tone he might use to announce what he has for lunch that day. . The balance between innocence and the depth of his gaze seems in keeping with the paddington movies, and as Hawkins emotionally embodies here and here, that makes him eminently lovable.

So the film tells its audience, Maurice Flitcroft is a man who would enter the British Open as an inexperienced professional and be completely genuine in his intentions. He’s no fool, he acknowledges quite early in the tournament that he’s over his head, but he lacks the ability to preemptively look at himself from a perspective outside his own. The dramatic power of The ghost of the open vient de la façon dont il s’appuie sur la performance de Rylance pour montrer au spectateur comment, lorsqu’on lui a suedé si son apparition record aux qualifications était destinée à être une blague, Maurice est surpris et blessé que quelqu’un le verrait in this way. And how the acknowledgment that he has been banned from golf for both being a class intruder and his poor performance is slowly eroding his optimistic view of the world. The dazzling visuals of the first third of the film become less prominent as it progresses, a way of communicating his inner struggle without compromising the lighthearted tone.

The ghost of the open tells a feel-good story without dwelling on it, it actually does the thematic work of figuring out what Maurice’s story means, which is unfortunately not a guarantee with the biography genre. His relationships with his three sons, rising social engineer Michael (Jake Davies) and disco-dancing twins Gene (Christian Lees) and James (Jonah Lees), do much of the work there, though Michael’s more antagonistic role inevitably it leaves him feeling a bit aggrieved as a character. Spectators are unlikely to care too much, however, when Rylance and Hawkins are such compelling to watch, and Maurice’s repeated attempts to get around his lifetime ban from the British Open leave them in stitches.

The ghost of the open opened in limited release on June 3 before expanding to domestic theaters on June 10. The film is 106 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for foul language and smoking.

Our evaluation:

3.5 out of 5 (very good)

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