Closing the Ring Reviews
I saw this movie a second time and liked it even more the second time. Scary stuff - Belfast in the 80's.
Attenborough helms a deeply moving love story beautifully interwoven between the 1940s and the present.
Part war movie (WWII), part love story, part international (Belfast), part political (IRA), this movies tries too hard to include EVERYTHING and falls short in bit in reaching too high for meaningfully lofty.
Shirley MacLaine was as spot on in her character as ever. Christopher Plummer had a tender character role it was hard not to love. I wanted to embrace him myself. Neve Campbell seemed not quite in touch with her character and that didn't really play well, in my opinion.
It's more a movie about relationships (all encompassing, love, friendship, parent/child, the gamut) and promises kept and broken than anything else. Maybe I'm just p*ssed off because lack of communication fueled it ALL!
It was hard to follow at times because they kept switching back and forth between then(1944) and now and between Ireland and American. Brenda Fricker did an outstanding job as always, as Jimmy's Gram. Pete Postlethwaite was mysterious and cantakerous and Martin McCann - a relative newcomer - was just delightful as Jimmy. The cast, overall, was outstanding but the attempt was too far reaching for a story of this magnitude. To cover all the back story that needed to be covered, especially regarding the IRA and what the American military were doing in Belfast in June 1944, would need a good bit more time than a 2 hour motion picture allows for.
I give 3.5 stars is because it ended well. They tied up all the loose ends and had closure, grieving and finally, happiness between Ethel Ann and Jack (MacLaine and Plummer) in the end.
The action moves to Belfast in 1991 where two men are digging in the dirt of a hillside. The younger of the men finds a ring in the mud. The ring is inscribed 'Ethel and Teddy'. Jimmy determines to return the ring to its rightful owner and sets out to find her. Leaving the unrest in Ireland Jimmy sets off for Michigan to hand over the ring, only to find that the return of the ring brings much conflict in Ethel's family circle.
There is much suspense in the film and plenty to commend it.
Like most film of this kind, which are liked by soppy women, who break into tears over anything, i was expecting the whole thing to be long, dull and over the top, but i was clearly mistaken.
I was genuinley inthralled for the whole two hours, which took me by complete surprise.
I won't give away much but this is a story revolving around lost love, and the secrets that come out about it after a family tradegy. The story jumps from place to place- for instance from Michigan to belfast, and skips from war time to 1991, and back and forth. Now when movies do that kind of thing it often annoys me, but it was done very well, skipping at the appropriate times so that the story and environment was a little more varied and I did not find the time and location jumps confusing at all, which can often be the case in some features. In this movie however I welcomed them, and I think if the whole thing had been set in one time and in one place than I would have got bored.
I found the plot very well constructed, and it may not be the most enthralling, creative or complexed plot, but it is very satisfying and unravels nicely throughout in a controlled manner, and dosn't bore you by being predictable or being filled with to many cliches.
the acting in it, i must admit was not the very best, it was to a good movie standard, but i just found it a little bit more melodramatic at times than it really needed to be.
Overall, this is a well contructed love story set across two times and locations that smoothly bind their way together into one enlightening feature, however it's not for everyone, and people who arn't into romance or drama, or if you find sudden location and era jumping annoying, then perhaps won't find this as appealing as i did, but bare in mind, It is much better than I had been led to beleive in my opinion, so it's worth a watch!