The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (79)
| Top Critics (17)
| Fresh (52)
| Rotten (27)
If golf is a good walk spoiled, the handsomely shot but subdued period piece Tommy's Honour is two hours drearily wasted.
A surprisingly better-than-average sports biopic with standout performances.
Connery (an actor as well, and the son of Sean Connery) keeps the performers honest, and a few of the father-son tussles, with their admixture of love and envy, are powerful.
With its rugged landscapes, handsome production design and, especially, the very appealing work of leads Peter Mullen and Jack Lowden, Tommy's Honour is an ingratiating production all-round.
As biopics go, it's a bogey.
The performances are desultory, the musical score bullying and the drama - aside from the game-changing placement of inconvenient shrubbery - as predictable as Tom senior's steadily sprouting beard.
It's a glossy, well-acted film that is hopelessly dry in its portrayal of a sport in transition.
The script plays safe... but Mullan and Lowden supply a moving depth of emotion, while the rowdy nature of early golf matches and the bristling class conflict off the course both prove something of an eye-opener.
The story of Tom Morris and his eldest son is a handsome affair. But just as golf has been described as a good walk spoiled, so this could be regarded as a fair to middling movie held down staid subject matter. It is, alas, awfy dull in the golf parts.
The film will appeal most strongly to golf's many fanatics, but with so much passion for its subject matter even a cynic might be won around by its warmth and earnestness.
The dialogue is a bit stiff in places but Tommy's Honour is must see viewing for fans of golf, Scotland, or both.
What ensues, at least initially, has a straightforward and rather linear structure that smacks of period television, but the underlying story is such a good one that it soon gains real momentum.
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