Who would have thought a film about the early days of golf in Scotland could carry with it this much heart, and emotional turmoil. Held together with an incredibly well crafted narrative, this surprisingly moving tale offers way more than its tittle would suggest. Directed by Jason Connery (son of Sean Connery) from a screenplay by Pamela Marin, Tommy’s Honour is not only well acted and beautifully portrayed by a brilliantly self-effacing cast, but it is also a film which will have you rethink your preconceived ideas about the sport.
Set at the turn of the last century, the film depicts a story about the early days of a sport which was then a far cry from today’s pampered millionaire players and lucrative brand deals. Old Tom Harris (Peter Mullan) might have been regarded by many to be the founding father of the sport, but it was his son Tommy (Jack Lowden)’s name which became synonymous with the popularity of a sport which had until then only been played and enjoyed by the upper classes, who profited greatly from betting on lowly working class players like Tommy and his father. Habits and traditions are threatened when Tommy decides that he is unwilling to carry on playing under these unjust conditions and proposes to shake up the whole class system by being his own man.
The story take us from Tommy’s humble beginning, all the way through his rise to the top of his game to become one of the youngest and most successful players to have ever played the game. Perhaps the most striking thing about Tommy’s Honour isn’t so much its subject matter, but rather its style. The film is old-fashioned in style and in narrative, and is reminiscent of the great British period dramas of the 1970s and 80s, which is more of a compliment than anything else. The story is told in a fairly conventional way, but at the heart of it there is a truly touching narrative about class, perseverance and resounding success.
Staring alongside Mullan and Lowden is Ophelia Lovibond who puts in a genuinely impressive turn as Meg Drinnen, Tommy’s love interest. Lovibind potrays Meg as a deeply modern woman who knows her own mind and won’t be swayed by what other thinks of her. Tommy’s Honour may not seem at first like the kind of film to hols its own, but it you will be pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of its storytelling. A genuinely heartwarming tale, which will stay with you long after you’ve left the cinema.
Director: Jason Connery
Writers: Pamela Marin, Kevin Cook
Stars: Sam Neill, Ophelia Lovibond, Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden