The best way to review this movie is to say what it is not. It is not just a “fish-out-of-water” comedy / drama about a stubborn old Scot trying to live in America.
Brian Cox is well cast as Rory McNeil, an elderly man who lives on the Northern Hebrides Island of Lewis. Owing to poor health he eventually decides to go to San Francisco where he can be treated.
The relationship between Rory and his son is not an easy one. From his father’s perspective the son’s only redeeming quality is his own baby son. The relationship between grandfather and grandson becomes very important to Rory. This is made obvious in one scene when Rory painfully admits his faults after losing his grandson in a museum in San Fransisco. This relationship becomes closer, much to the annoyance of the son’s wife. She has planned meticulously how their child is to be brought up and it did not include regular attention from a man who regularly bathes naked in the sea – an action which while acceptable in Lewis, draws the attention of police in the middle of a big city. The film is well written and remains interesting throughout its entire length.
The competent acting makes the characters come alive and is backed up by clever cinematography. The film opens with three long lingering shots of the landscape in the Scottish islands establishing the character of Rory MacNeil as a man connected to his land in a very close way, which makes his transition to San Francisco very interesting. Other people are introduced into the story once Rory reaches America and these add different flavours to a diverse mix of characters. One of the best things that can be said is that although at one point I thought it would be predictable, I was wrong. The scriptwriters seemed to have a way of keeping things fresh, enjoyable and moving along.
Nick Scott Nick Scott has a B.A at Waikato., where he studied film under Sam Edwards. Nick has retained a keen interest in Cinema. He studied Te Reo Maori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa part-time for 3 years. From 2014 to 2016 Nick collaborated in writing “The Traveller’s guide to Maori Place Names”.
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COMING UP AT THE JAM FACTORY at THE INCUBATOR 7th SEPTEMBER 2019
NICK CHARLES WITH MIKE GARNER
When: Saturday, 7 September 2019 from 18:30-20:30
Where: The Jam Factory – Historic Village, 17th Ave, Tauranga
With dazzling melodic finger-picking on six and twelve string guitars, stinging bottleneck slide and a lifetime’s stories and songs gathered or written on the world’s musical highways, it’s no surprise that Nick Charles has long been labelled internationally as “Australia’s virtuoso of acoustic roots and blues”. During his extensive and acclaimed career, Nick has released sixteen albums on major Australian and US roots music labels.
His recordings have garnered worldwide recognition beginning with “My Place” and now his most recent release “The River Flows”. This recognition has succeeded in having Nick signed to the Grammy Award winning label, Solid Air Records USA (“Home of the World’s Finest Guitarists”). The only other Australian recognized by the label being Tommy Emmanuel.
He has toured with and supported artists including John Hammond, Guy Clarke, Ralph McTell, Robyn Ford, Junior Wells, Taj Mahal and BB King and toured the US ten times in recent years.
Consistently averaging 150 shows a year in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, his music encompasses a delightful and eclectic mix of acoustic roots including blues, folk, country and early ragtime jazz. Along the way there are stylish nods to the “Great American Songbook” and the finest contemporary players and composers from Chet Atkins to Lennon and McCartney to Leo Kottke. (From the Creative Bay of Plenty site) And check out this YouTube clip of the man and his blues….
And here’s Rosalie Liddle-Crawford from the Weekend Sun’s article published in early August 2019 – an additional perspective on the music of Nick Charles https://www.theweekendsun.co.nz/lps/1404-nick-charles.html
THE WAIPUNA HOSPICE EVENTS COMING UP:-
Downton Abbey is heading to the big screen! Join this incredible group of filmmakers, actors and craftspeople, led by Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame, in bringing the world of Downton to the big screen. There will be romance, fun, surprises, sadness and intrigue. There will be spot prizes for best dressed! And a raffle too! Enjoy a glass of bubbles or juice and some popcorn to munch on (included with your ticket). 17th September 2019 at the Rialto, Tauranga More information: https://www.waipunahospice.org.nz/movie/
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