Movie Review – “Tommy’s Honour”

“One of the best golf films ever produced.” – Patrick King, REEL BRIEF

It’s always fascinating to be caught off-guard by incredible true stories that educate and entertain us on the big-screen. Take for instance last year’s best picture nominated “Hidden Figures”, about three brilliant African-American women who played enormous roles in our nation’s space program back in the 1960s. Did I miss that day in school or did the textbooks on segregation and women’s rights egregiously omit it?  Thankfully, we have enlightened screenplay writers that meticulously research and push these historic accounts upon a director willing to make it all come to life again on film.

“Tommy’s Honour” is directed by Jason Connery (the son of Hollywood legend Sean Connery) and depicts the early days of golf found in Scotland.  Set in the late 1860s at the “Home of Golf”, we’re introduced to St. Andrews’ greenkeeper Tom Morris, the father of Tommy Morris.  This offspring, the “Young Tom” Morris, goes on to become one of the greatest golfers of all-time and is still the youngest major champion in golf history (at 17 years of age).

In one of the best golf films ever produced, “Tommy’s Honour” flourishes with a tip of the hat to the archaic, challenging European golf courses while taking us along the young man’s constantly changing personal relationships.  Never willing to accept a mulligan in life, the brazen swing master confidently confronts his old man, clubhouse royalty with their payout shenanigans, and those standing between he and his romantic love interest. Treating the problems like deep sand traps and knee-high rough on a golf course, Tommy sidesteps these hazards to go on to win The Open Championship, turn heads, and change minds.

Well-above average acting throughout tees up this historic sports drama.  Newcomer Jack Lowden shines as the charismatic Tommy, while his fellow Scottish actor, Peter Mullan, masterfully portrays the boy’s father and golf pro catalyst. Together a heart-warming father-son narrative about forgiveness and support tops the leaderboard by the film’s end.

Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the dismal course conditions, feverish fandom, and amazing scenery found in the sport’s infancy.  Special attention to the golf equipment and wardrobe from the 1800s delivers an authentic look and feel for moviegoers. Likewise, the movie’s budding romance between Tommy and his older woman, Meg (Ophelia Lovibond), shows a different, more peaceful, side to the golf phenom.

This film cleverly places all of the emotions found in golf upon the shoulders of us, the viewers.  We witness a Hall of Fame golfer stay true to himself and his convictions on the personal and professional playing field—as his popularity and winnings increase. Although sports history books may not cover the Tom Morris Jr. years, this very worthy golf film does—and admirably so.  A par for the course, “Tommy’s Honour” tells an extraordinary and powerful story of one’s determination!

Grade: B+

“Tommy’s Honour” is rated PG for thematic elements, some suggestive material, language, and smoking. Its running time is 1 hour and 52 minutes.

© 2017, Patrick. All rights reserved.

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"Patrick, you are my go-to guy when it comes to the box office".   - Judy O.

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