The fact that a story is true is not necessarily enough to make it interesting, as demonstrated by this tale based on the lives of Tom Morris (Peter Mullan) and Tommy Morris, Jr. (Jack Lowden), who were, respectively, pioneers in golf course design and winning multiple Open Championships in Scotland circa 1868-1875. Director Jason Connery—yes, Sean’s son—strolls through various subplots, including Tommy butting up against class privilege, Tommy’s courtship with an older woman (Ophelia Lovibond) and the sometimes contentious father-son relationship. None of these angles, unfortunately, yields particularly gripping results, despite a predictably fine performance by Mullan and one killer scene for Lovibond defending her honor to Tommy’s mother. Bits of trivia involving the Morrises’ breakthroughs in club design might be of significance to golf enthusiasts, but the film can’t land on a focus that yields a real emotional hook. When an angered Tom Sr. brushes several golf clubs off of a table at one point, it’s done with exactly the passion one might expect from a story that can’t muster a more stirring response than a golf clap.
Director: Jason Connery
Producer: Keith Bank, Bob Last, Jim Kreutzer, Tim Moore, Keith Bank and Ken Whitney
Cast: Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden, Ophelia Lovibond, Sam Neill, Max Deacon, Peter Ferdinando, Seylan Baxter and Paul Reid