Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Jon Hamm, Christopher Walken, Dearbhla Molloy, Danielle Ryan, Abigail Coburn, Darragh O'Kane
Written by: John Patrick Shanley, based on his play 'Outside Mullingar'
Directed by: John Patrick Shanley
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some thematic elements and suggestive comments
Running Time: 102
Date: 12/11/2020
IMDB

Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Irish Sighs

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

As a filmmaker, John Patrick Shanley works slowly, but that's to be forgiven since he's a busy playwright. He won an Oscar, rightfully, for his screenplay of Moonstruck (1987), then wrote and directed two excellent movies, eighteen years apart, Joe vs. the Volcano (1990) and Doubt (2008). Now, twelve years later, he returns with his third movie as director, Wild Mountain Thyme, written by Shanley, based on his own 2014 play. It's an odd duck, and as eagerly as I was waiting for the magic to happen, it took well over an hour for it to emerge. Many will have given up by that point. Emily Blunt is perhaps one good reason why they wouldn't. She plays the feisty Irishwoman Rosemary Muldoon, who is stubbornly in love with her neighbor, Anthony Reilly (Jamie Dornan). It begins as Anthony's father (Christopher Walken) admits that he's thinking of leaving the family farm to a faraway, big-city cousin (Jon Hamm), rather than to Anthony. This becomes a huge crisis for Anthony, though it seems less so for anyone else, and we must simply wait until everyone comes to their senses. The cousin, of course, comes to Ireland and tries to pick up on Rosemary, just to thicken the plot, but it refuses to be thickened. The movie gets good during the last half-hour when Anthony and Rosemary are trapped together by an aggressive rainstorm, and they finally, finally start talking to one another. Meanwhile, the accents of the largely non-Irish cast may cause raised hackles.

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