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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Lowden’

Fiona Shaw, Tamara Lawrance, Jack Lowden

“KINDRED” My rating: C+ (In select theaters and VOD)

101 minutes | No MPAA rating

Thrillers can be too classy for their own good.

Such is the case with the British “Kindred,” a variation on “Rosemary’s Baby” (and not a few other women-in-distress pictures) that has been well made and nicely acted but never sucks us in the way we want.

The premise of Joe Marcantonio’s film is tried and true.  Charlotte (Tamara Lawrance) and her boyfriend Ben (Edward Holcroft) are expecting a baby.  They reluctantly pop over to the rural estate where Ben grew up to inform his widowed mother, Margaret (Fiona Shaw), of the good news.

And to announce that they’re emigrating to Australia.

Mama is not pleased. The family’s once-resplendent castle in the country is now marked by peeling wallpaper and threadbare rugs; Margaret has long prayed that as the heir Ben would move back and return the place to its former glory.   Now her hopes are dashed.

That is, until Ben dies in an agricultural accident. Shortly thereafter the grieving Charlotte begins to suspect that far from being a pampered guest she is a prisoner in this shabby palace.

Marcantonio’s screenplay(with Jason McColgan) is noteworthy in that until the very end it keeps us guessing as to whether Fiona is a variation on the wicked witch or if it’s all in Charlotte’s head (her own mother had mental issues, and being preggers doesn’t exactly calm our heroine’s mind).

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Jack Lowden

“TOMMY’S HONOUR”  My rating: B (Opens April 14 at the Town Center, Glenwood Arts and Cinemark Palace)

117 minutes | MRAA rating:  PG

If the Yankees’ Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig had been father and son, their story would play a lot like that of Thomas Morris and his son, Tommy Jr.

More than anyone before or since, these 19th-century Scotsmen refined, codified, and popularized the game of golf.

That most of today’s 60 million golfers have never heard of the Morris clan is a crime. The new film “Tommy’s Honour” is poised to remedy this situation.

Director Jason Connery (Sean’s son) and scripters Pamela Martin and Kevin Cook have fashioned a great-looking duo biopic that delves into the origins of a huge popular sport, follows one character’s tragic arc amid generational conflicts, and delivers a swift kick to an overbearing British class system.

It’s a satisfying mix of sport, personal drama and social conscience.

In the 1850s young Tommy Morris grows up under the wing of Tom Morris Sr. (the ever reliable Peter Mullan), who runs what today you’d call the pro shop at Scotland’s St. Andrews Links, where the game was invented a century earlier.

Tom Senior’s job description is flexible. He coaches players (invariably they are drawn from the snobbish nobility). He designs and manufactures clubs and other equipment in his shop. He maintains the course. He caddies.

And he plays professionally, though that means something different than what we now recognize as professional golfing.

There are no prize purses. Instead the elder Morris is sponsored by a cabal of rich gentlemen.  Each match is surrounded by furious wagering; when Tom triumphs his backers give him a share of the winnings. How much is up to them. Being a working class bloke, he accepts that this is the way things are.

Young Tommy (Jack Lowden) comes of age with a club in his hand and by his late teens can outplay his father.  But whereas Dad is an undemanding traditionalist, Tommy announces to the rich swells that from now on he’ll collect the winning bets and dole out the money to them. 

The stuffed shirts (Sam Neill plays their leader) grouse but finally give in. The kid is that good. He’s the sport’s first true superstar.

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