(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN stars Mark Rylance (BRIDGE OF SPIES and WOLF HALL) as Maurice Flitcroft, a middle-aged working-class Briton who has never played golf, but who decides in 1975 (for reasons never explained) to enter the British Open. (The reasons are never explained because perhaps Flitcroft did not know them himself.) Sally Hawkins as his wife is much more restrained than usual.

In some ways it is similar to BELFAST in showing working class people, though BELFAST concentrates on The Troubles, and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPEN takes a more comedic look at life.

Once again filmmakers have sports fascination examined in a popular musical form. Perhaps this is a reference to THE BIG LEBOWSKI, since both films show scenes from the ball's point of view.

The Brits seem to love these comedies about working-class people who have an impossible dream and see it through with pluck and grit--even if they don't always succeed. CALENDAR GIRLS, EDDIE THE EAGLE, MILITARY WIVES, PRIDE, MADE IN DAGENHAM, THE ENGLISHMAN WHO WENT UP A HILL AND CAME DOWN A MOUNTAIN, THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN (okay--he's a Kiwi), ...

(And, yes, Maurice's twin sons really were world champion disco dancers.)

Released theatrically 3 June 2022. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

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					Mark R. Leeper
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