Tommy's Honour

1hr 52mins | Rated M | Adult Themes

This is a biopic of father-and-son golf legends – mere caddies by station, whose achievements shaped the game as it’s played today. It’s about native talent rising to the top without a silver spoon in sight.
As the latest directing project for Jason Connery, it’s a film with distinctly personal things to say about filling your father’s boots. Sean is not cast in the role of Old Tommy Morris – that job falls to a bristling, bearded Peter Mullan. Generally recognised as golf’s founding father, Old Tommy launched the Open Championship in 1860, and was the first man ever to tee off for it at Prestwick.
Ultimate distinction as a player, though, fell instead to his son, Young Tommy (Jack Lowden), who won the tournament three times in a row, starting at just 17, and still holds the record as the youngest winner of a major trophy.
The husband-and-wife team Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook contributed the rock-solid script, from Cook’s book about Morris père and fils. There was a risk of buying into a certain boysy, clubhouse chauvinism which is nicely satirised instead, especially when Young Tommy meets the love of his life.
Lowden, a vaunted London stage star soon to be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, knows how to invest his role with a boyish impetuosity without overdoing the naïveté, and stands up squarely to St Andrews’s boss-captain (a genteel Sam Neill). But it’s his chemistry with Ophelia Lovibond which seals the deal.
She’s excellent as Meg, the future wife over whom Tommy would fall out with his devout Christian mother (Therese Bradley), because of a bastard child on the village ledger. The two women get one scene together, and it’s a cracker.
Through it all, Mullan is a reliable bedrock of grumpy stoicism, as perfect as ever at locking his feelings away to seep out in close-up when the time is right. A fateful contretemps between Morrises, involving a telegram delivered three shots shy of victory, leaves their relationship hanging in the balance through the last reel: whether the killer putt goes in or not is of much less import than whether forgiveness can ever follow.
Daily Telegraph


Director: Jason Connery

Writers: Pamela Marin, Kevin Cook

Stars: Sam Neill, Ophelia Lovibond, Peter Mullan