Entertainment

The Phantom Of The Open Review: Feel-Good Biopic Has Paddington Vibes

Mark Rylance in The Phantom of the Open

In the immediate aftermath, Maurice is rejected by the golfing community, makes national news as a hoaxer, and is labeled “The World’s Worst Golfer.” From the outside looking in, these reactions all make sense, but The Phantom of the Open‘s first act is dedicated to laying the groundwork for understanding why they were wrong. The audience leaves the visually playful montage retelling of Maurice’s life that begins with the film knowing exactly who he is at heart, particularly his unique philosophical cocktail of it-is-what-it-is realism and follow-your-dreams romanticism. He makes life-changing decisions in an instant, erring always on the side of love and kindness and declares them with the same tone he might use to announce what he’s having for lunch that day. The balance of innocence and profundity in his outlook seems in line with the Paddington films, and as Hawkins affectingly embodies both there and here, it makes him eminently lovable.

So, the movie tells its audience, Maurice Flitcroft is a man who would sign up for the British Open as a professional with no experience and be entirely genuine in his intentions. He’s no idiot — he recognizes fairly early in the tournament that he’s in over his head — but he lacks the ability to look preemptively at himself from a perspective outside his own. The dramatic power of The Phantom of the Open comes from the way it leans on Rylance’s performance to show the viewer how, when asked if his record-setting appearance at the qualifier was intended as a joke, Maurice is surprised and hurt someone would see it that way. And how the recognition that he’s being shut out of golfing as much for being a class interloper as for his poor performance slowly chips away at his optimistic view of the world. The dazzling visuals of the movie’s first third become less prominent as it goes, a way of communicating his inner struggle without compromising the light tone.

Mark Rylance in The Phantom of the Open

The Phantom of the Open tells a feel-good story without coasting on it, actually doing the thematic work of finding what Maurice’s tale means, which is unfortunately not a guarantee with the biopic genre. His relationships with his three sons, the social-climbing engineer Michael (Jake Davies) and the disco-dancing twins Gene (Christian Lees) and James (Jonah Lees), do a lot of the work there, though Michael’s more antagonistic role inevitably leaves him feeling a bit short-changed as a character. Viewers are unlikely to care too much, though, when Rylance and Hawkins are so compelling to watch, and Maurice’s repeated attempts to skirt his lifetime British Open ban leave them in stitches.

The Phantom of the Open opened in limited release on June 3 before expanding to theaters nationwide on June 10. The movie is 106 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for some strong language and smoking.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)


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The Phantom Of The Open Review: Feel-Good Biopic Has Paddington Vibes

Mark Rylance in The Phantom of the Open
In the immediate aftermath, Maurice is rejected by the golfing community, makes national news as a hoaxer, and is labeled “The World’s Worst Golfer.” From the outside looking in, these reactions all make sense, but The Phantom of the Open‘s first act is dedicated to laying the groundwork for understanding why they were wrong. The audience leaves the visually playful montage retelling of Maurice’s life that begins with the film knowing exactly who he is at heart, particularly his unique philosophical cocktail of it-is-what-it-is realism and follow-your-dreams romanticism. He makes life-changing decisions in an instant, erring always on the side of love and kindness and declares them with the same tone he might use to announce what he’s having for lunch that day. The balance of innocence and profundity in his outlook seems in line with the Paddington films, and as Hawkins affectingly embodies both there and here, it makes him eminently lovable.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr3’); });

So, the movie tells its audience, Maurice Flitcroft is a man who would sign up for the British Open as a professional with no experience and be entirely genuine in his intentions. He’s no idiot — he recognizes fairly early in the tournament that he’s in over his head — but he lacks the ability to look preemptively at himself from a perspective outside his own. The dramatic power of The Phantom of the Open comes from the way it leans on Rylance’s performance to show the viewer how, when asked if his record-setting appearance at the qualifier was intended as a joke, Maurice is surprised and hurt someone would see it that way. And how the recognition that he’s being shut out of golfing as much for being a class interloper as for his poor performance slowly chips away at his optimistic view of the world. The dazzling visuals of the movie’s first third become less prominent as it goes, a way of communicating his inner struggle without compromising the light tone.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr4’); });

Mark Rylance in The Phantom of the Open
The Phantom of the Open tells a feel-good story without coasting on it, actually doing the thematic work of finding what Maurice’s tale means, which is unfortunately not a guarantee with the biopic genre. His relationships with his three sons, the social-climbing engineer Michael (Jake Davies) and the disco-dancing twins Gene (Christian Lees) and James (Jonah Lees), do a lot of the work there, though Michael’s more antagonistic role inevitably leaves him feeling a bit short-changed as a character. Viewers are unlikely to care too much, though, when Rylance and Hawkins are so compelling to watch, and Maurice’s repeated attempts to skirt his lifetime British Open ban leave them in stitches.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr5’); });

The Phantom of the Open opened in limited release on June 3 before expanding to theaters nationwide on June 10. The movie is 106 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for some strong language and smoking.

Our Rating:
3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1550597677810-0’); });

#Phantom #Open #Review #FeelGood #Biopic #Paddington #Vibes

The Phantom Of The Open Review: Feel-Good Biopic Has Paddington Vibes

Mark Rylance in The Phantom of the Open
In the immediate aftermath, Maurice is rejected by the golfing community, makes national news as a hoaxer, and is labeled “The World’s Worst Golfer.” From the outside looking in, these reactions all make sense, but The Phantom of the Open‘s first act is dedicated to laying the groundwork for understanding why they were wrong. The audience leaves the visually playful montage retelling of Maurice’s life that begins with the film knowing exactly who he is at heart, particularly his unique philosophical cocktail of it-is-what-it-is realism and follow-your-dreams romanticism. He makes life-changing decisions in an instant, erring always on the side of love and kindness and declares them with the same tone he might use to announce what he’s having for lunch that day. The balance of innocence and profundity in his outlook seems in line with the Paddington films, and as Hawkins affectingly embodies both there and here, it makes him eminently lovable.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr3’); });

So, the movie tells its audience, Maurice Flitcroft is a man who would sign up for the British Open as a professional with no experience and be entirely genuine in his intentions. He’s no idiot — he recognizes fairly early in the tournament that he’s in over his head — but he lacks the ability to look preemptively at himself from a perspective outside his own. The dramatic power of The Phantom of the Open comes from the way it leans on Rylance’s performance to show the viewer how, when asked if his record-setting appearance at the qualifier was intended as a joke, Maurice is surprised and hurt someone would see it that way. And how the recognition that he’s being shut out of golfing as much for being a class interloper as for his poor performance slowly chips away at his optimistic view of the world. The dazzling visuals of the movie’s first third become less prominent as it goes, a way of communicating his inner struggle without compromising the light tone.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr4’); });

Mark Rylance in The Phantom of the Open
The Phantom of the Open tells a feel-good story without coasting on it, actually doing the thematic work of finding what Maurice’s tale means, which is unfortunately not a guarantee with the biopic genre. His relationships with his three sons, the social-climbing engineer Michael (Jake Davies) and the disco-dancing twins Gene (Christian Lees) and James (Jonah Lees), do a lot of the work there, though Michael’s more antagonistic role inevitably leaves him feeling a bit short-changed as a character. Viewers are unlikely to care too much, though, when Rylance and Hawkins are so compelling to watch, and Maurice’s repeated attempts to skirt his lifetime British Open ban leave them in stitches.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr5’); });

The Phantom of the Open opened in limited release on June 3 before expanding to theaters nationwide on June 10. The movie is 106 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for some strong language and smoking.

Our Rating:
3.5 out of 5 (Very Good)

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1550597677810-0’); });

#Phantom #Open #Review #FeelGood #Biopic #Paddington #Vibes


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