There’s been an endless supply of inspirational sports movies based on true stories over the years, and another one to watch is The Phantom of the Open. The new golf-centric tale is directed by Craig Robert and written by Simon Farnaby, based on Farnaby’s book of the same name which he co-wrote with Scott Murrayon the true story of Maurice Flitcroft (Marc Rylance), a crane operator and “relentless optimist” who decides to try his luck in the British Open Gold Championship qualifiers in 1976… without ever having played a round of golf in his life.
The trailer begins by humorously reminding the audience that this story “actually happened”, before showing a brief story of Flitcroft’s life leading up to the events where he started professional golf. We see him marry the love of his life, Jean (Sally Hawkin ), and a glimpse of the couple raising their two sons together. We then see Flitcroft talking to his friends about the age-old question, “if you could do anything, what would you do?” They don’t know it, but that’s where we see Flitcroft discovering his love for golf. He tells his friends he’s going to get a place at the British Open, and they look at him like he’s crazy.
This is where the film’s comedy really starts to show, as we see Flitcroft prepare for his dream event. He pulls off the worst trick in Open history, but refuses to give up, even after admitting he’s never played before. Thanks to the colorful and happy direction of Roberts and the carefree spirit of Rylance, we have the impression that, although the media attention may put pressure on Flitcroft and his family, he refuses to give up – not for upset those who doubt him, but simply because he believes in himself.
From the trailer alone, this appears to be a whimsically funny, gleefully upbeat, heartfelt sports film that combines the absurdity of Happy Gilmore with the emotional weight of The way back Where McFarland, United States. It seems like the perfect Middle Joe, a rags-to-riches story that has enough style and substance to keep the avid sports movie viewer engaged. Rylance has proven itself countless times, with great performance in bridge of spies, Dunkirkand The Chicago 7 Trial. He also has an underrated sense of comedic timing shown in movies like Loan player one and Don’t look up, so he’s sure to deliver a well-rounded performance that will inspire as much as it will make us laugh. Pair that with Hawkins, who also has a great resume of movies like The shape of waterand the cast of this film has its fair share of heavyweights.
There’s probably nothing better than a well-made sports movie. The Phantom of the Open seems like the next story sports fans should have in their wheelie bag when the movie hits the green and hits theaters on June 3. Check out the full trailer below:
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