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'Phantom of the Open made me laugh and cry'



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Film review: The Phantom of the Open (12), Seen at The Light Cinema

Stars: Mark Rylance, Sally Hawkins, Jake Davies, Christian Lees, Jonah Lees and Rhys Ifans

Running time: 1 hr 46 mins Director: Craig Roberts

The Phantom of the Open (55827697)
The Phantom of the Open (55827697)

Just five minutes into this film I found myself laughing

uncontrollably, along with most of the others watching. As we approached the end, I was fighting back the tears as yet another moving scene hit home.

Yes, the makers took emotional liberties with this biographical comedy-drama about the exploits of the ‘World’s worst golfer’ Maurice Flitcroft.

But the true story is so amazing, the only wonder is how it took so long to make it to the big screen.

Mark Rylance is endearingly superb as Flitcroft, a simple crane operator from Barrow, who, in 1976, when faced with redundancy, decides to take up golf, with his aim being to compete at the British Open.

Without the wealth or contacts to join a club, he practices on the beach and wastelands after amazingly blagging himself entry into the Open qualifying round.

Caddying for him are disco dancing twin sons Gene and Michael, played with camp Seventies glee by Christian and Jonah Lees.

As he shoots the worst round in Open history, he invokes the wrath and snobbery of the golfing elite while becoming a folk hero (think Eddie the Eagle), with the viewer never quite sure if he is in on the joke.

Sally Hawkins is likeable and believable as the dowdy but strong Jean Flitcroft and Jake Davies is the living embodiment of the Seventies go-getter as her biological son Michael.

But this is more than just the story of a likeable dreamer.

It explores working class love and tensions among families in the Seventies, the class divide that was still so evident and the highs and lows of human nature itself.

Along with The Duke, which I reviewed last month, the film expertly captures all that was good and all that was not so good about the decade when divisive Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher came into power.

And as someone who grew up in the decade,I appreciate that both films go much deeper into the 1970s than their jolly facades may at first suggest.

By Jeremy Ransome

Rating: 8.5/10

Showing this week in Wisbech (from Friday, April 8)...

The Light Cinema, Cromwell Road...

Clifford the Big Red Dog (PG)

Fri, Sat, Sun: 09:45. Mon, Tues, Wed: 09:50

CODA (12A)

Mon, Tues: 20:30

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (12A)

Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:00, 12:10, 12:40, 13:10, 15:20, 15:50 (subtitled on Sat), 16:20, 18:30, 19:00, 19:30, 20:15. Mon, Tues: 10:00, 12:10, 12:40 (subtitled on Tues), 13:10, 15:20, 15:50, 16:20, 18:30, 19:00, 19:30, 20:00. Wed: 10:00, 12:10, 12:40, 13:10, 15:20, 15:50, 16:20, 18:30, 19:00, 19:30. Thurs: 10:00, 12:10, 12:40, 13:10, 15:20, 15:50, 16:20, 18:30, 19:00, 19:30, 20:30

Morbius (15)

Fri, Sat, Sun: 11:45, 14:30, 17:15, 20:00, 20:30. Mon, Tues, Wed: 11:45, 14:30, 17:15, 20:10. Thurs: 11:45, 14:30, 17:15 (subtitled), 20:00

Royal Opera 2021/22 Season: La Traviata (TBC)

Wed: 18:45

Sing 2 (PG)

Daily: 10:10

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (PG)

Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:30, 11:20 (baby friendly on Fri), 12:45, 13:20, 14:20, 15:40, 16:10, 17:15, 19:10. Mon: 10:30, 11:00, 12:45, 13:20, 14:00, 15:40, 16:10, 17:00, 19:10. Tues: 10:30, 11:00, 12:45, 13:20, 14:00, 15:40, 16:10, 17:00, 19:00. Wed: 10:30, 11:00, 12:45, 13:20, 14:00, 15:40, 16:10, 19:10. Thurs: 09:50, 10:30, 11:10, 12:45, 13:20, 14:00, 15:40, 16:10, 19:00

The Bad Guys (U)

Fri, Sat, Sun: 09:50 (autism friendly on Sun), 10:20, 12:50, 15:30, 18:00. Mon, Tues, Thurs: 09:45, 10:20, 12:50, 15:30, 18:00. Wed: 09:45, 10:20, 12:50, 15:30

The Batman (15)

Daily except Thurs: 18:50. Thurs: 18:45

The Lost City (TBC)

Wed, Thurs: 17:00, 19:45

Showing at The Luxe Cinema, Alexandra Road, from Friday...

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (12A)

Fri: 13:00, 16:30 & 20:00. Sat: 13:00, 16:30 & 20:00. Sun: 13:00 & 19:45. Mon: 13:00, 16:30 & 20:00. Tues: 13:00, 16:30 & 20:00. Wed 13th: 11:45, 13.15 subtitled. Thurs 14th: 13:00, 16:30 & 20:00

The Bad Guys (U)

Fri: 10:00. Sat: 10:00. Sun: 10:00. Mon: 10:00. Tues: 10:00. Thurs 14th: 10:00

Royal Opera House: La Traviata (LIVE)

Wed: 18:45



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