PG. Dir: Craig Roberts, UK, 2022, 102 min. Sally Hawkins, Mark Rylance, Rhys Ifans, Mark Lewis Jones.
“In the blistering summer of 1976, a rather distinctive golfer popped up among contestants at The British Open… Maurice Flitcroft was noted to have an unusual swing, his golf bag was low on clubs, his attire less than natty… Flitcroft was actually a shipyard worker who’d only taken up golf a few years previously after watching a tournament on TV… As the local golf club wouldn’t let him in, he’d practised in fields or on the beach using mail order clubs, and had never played on an actual course… If golf has an everyman hero, it really ought to be Maurice, the Don Quixote of the fairways, and this is his story… He aims high, and decides he will make his tournament debut at The British Open, but when he finds out that amateurs who enter must have a registered handicap… it’s a dilemma which Maurice overcomes by simply ticking the box marked ‘professional’ on his Open entry form. And so it is he finds himself teeing off with the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus, as bemused TV commentators quickly begin to speculate about the bona fides of this wildly erratic ‘pro’… He’s a very British hero, a hopeless underdog insisting on his worth, and Craig Roberts’ film rises to heights of comic charm thanks to Rylance’s winning performance.” —Paul Whitington, The Irish Independent