The Phantom of the Open Review – Endearing, Charming, Entertaining

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The Phantom of the Open, from Sony Pictures Classics, presents the true story of Maurice Flitcroft, affectionately known as the world's worst golfer who through an epiphany or lunacy determined he would play in the British Open Golf Championship.

The film begins, essentially at the end. We meet Maurice Flitcroft, played by Mark Rylance, an unassuming and humble man, being interviewed about his career in Golf. This is where our story transition to the beginning, the past, some thirty years ago.

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As the story begins, we hear Maurice, begin to tell his story of a young lad from Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria England, who loved learning. World War II arrived, and he was sent to live with a family in Switzerland, to escape the possibility of death. It was the influence of the family, who were intellectually and artistically inclined that he was encouraged to pursue his gifts, talents, and abilities along with learning languages. They instilled a belief in him that he could achieve his dreams.

Then the war ended, and he returned home to Barrow-in-Furness, essentially, as he explains, a place where men go to die, and there he meets his wife, Jean, played by Sally Hawkins, who ran the local theater playhouse. After some time, he proposed, and she turned him down. She took him to her home and her son, Michael, played by Austin Griffin, was sleeping, she explained she was raising him alone.

In the touching scene, Maurice asks, "Then he has never had a father?" Jean replies, "No." And he says, "Well he does now," and suddenly, the three were a family.

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Soon they added two more, twin boys, and Maurice and Jean made a home for their children, nurturing them, introducing them to the world outside of Barrow-in-Furness. Mike, played by Jake Davies, went to college, and became an engineer at began working in the office of the factory, where both his mother and father were employed. His brothers, the twins Gene and James, were disco dancers, and through the urging of Maurice became world champions.

Then one evening, in the bewitching hours of late night, Maurice sees the finals of the British Open Golf Championship on the television and in a moment of madness or brilliance he decides he is going to play in this most prestigious Golf Championship England offers.

As the story unfolds, Maurice, who through the support of his Jean, manages to gain entry to The British Open Golf Championship qualifying round in 1976, despite never playing a round of golf before.

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Oddly, this is where his next chapter of his life takes off as does the film. Flitcroft plays the worst round in British Open history and becomes a folk hero of sorts to those who are humbled by the game. Unfortunately, those who control his day job are less enthusiastic about his determination and with each effort, and each failure, he becomes disposable.

The Phantom of the Open a crowd-pleasing, feel good, film that will leave you cheering for the understated underdog! Strong character driven performances all around. Charming and enchanting, The Phantom of the Open opens Friday, June 3, 2022. See it!

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Country: UK.

Year: 2022

Runtime: 106miutes.

Release Date: Friday, June 3, 2022.

Director: Craig Roberts

Writer: Simon Farnaby (screenplay) from the book The Phantom of the Open Scott Murray.

Producer: Kate Glover, Nicola Martin, Tom Miller.

Cast: Mark Rylance, Sally Hawkins, Jake Davies, Christian Lees, Jonah Lees, Ian Porter, Mark Lewis Jones, Johann Myers, Nigel Netts, Afsaneh Dehrouyeh, Time Berrington, Terence Booth, Neil Edmond, Ian Mansfield, Amy Alexander, Rhys Ifans, Tim Stead.

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