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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Phantom of the Open (2021)

You can almost smell the Hovis. What's that coming over the hill? Is it Eddie The Eagle? No, it's Maurice Flitcroft. Equally useless at his chosen sport but the same derring-do, never say die attitude in the face of great obstacles, to compete, as per his right, damn you.

The cast list alone should provide enough confidence to give this a viewing. Starring Mark Rylance as Maurice and Sally Hawkins as his long-suffering wife, this is also littered with other notable performances from other famous faces.

Based on a true story of a man that entered into the British Open Golf Championship despite not having played a full round of golf in his life, the crane driver from Barrow got the worst score in living memory. Quite the achievement. Not the score, but the determination to do just what he wanted, albeit through admitted spades of ignorance.

If you put aside the sport, this is a very well delivered character study, deep in the feels, of a genuinely good man, who having worked hard for his family for all of his life, now decides to follow a dream, which no-one will stop him from pursuing.

Emotional at times, it is funny and heart-warming throughout, though never laugh out loud hilarious, but the tone feels right regardless and the film is better for it, not to mention the unashamedly wistful soundtrack.

If it's intention was to bring this viewer to tears, it didn't manage it, but still, this is (yes, I'm going to say it) like Maurice, well above par.

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