Film Scouts Reviews

"The Run of the Country"

by Eleanor Ringel

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Even those with a weakness for all things Irish will be disappointed in this unengaging coming-of-age story. Directed by Peter Yates and written by Shane Connaughton, the film focuses on eighteen-year-old Danny (Matt Keeslar, a staggeringly uncompelling actor) who's just lost his mom and hasn't a clue about what to do with his life. Adding to the pressure is his fierce dad (Albert Finney), who loves his son, but sees him as a fragile, drifting momma's boy. Danny finds a mentor of sorts in his best pal, Prunty (Anthony Brophy), a brawling devil-may-care mischief-maker who's everything Danny is not. The movie's themes of sex, repression and rebellion (political and personal) in modern rural Ireland are worthy ones, but the filmmakers reduce them to blarney-soaked cliches. With Finney stuck in a supporting role and the Michigan-born Keeslar out of place and out of his league, it's left to Irish stage actor Brophy to make off with the movie - what little there is worth taking.

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