Phantom of the Open

This is a movie about Maurice Flitcroft (2021). It is based on a true story and rated 7.0 on IMDb, but I would rate it higher. Maurice Flitcroft was a UK shipping dock worker who began playing golf at age forty-six. He got into the British Open and scored the highest score ever recorded – 121. He died in 2007, but not after playing several times in the British Open. It is very humorous, but naturally, as it simply tells his story.

The setting is interesting as it contrasts the dreary industrial town of Barrows in Furnace near Manchester, England with beautiful scenery of golf courses. While the subject is golf, the real story is about love, family, struggles to survive and optimism or a positive attitude. It bears out the adage, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” At the end of the film there is actual footage of Maurice, who in just a few seconds confirms his character. He is very well played by Mark Rylance, whom you might remember from the movie “Ready Player One”. I also recognized another quirky actor, Simon Farnaby, who plays another golfer, but also played the taller ‘Simon and Garfunkel’ character in the TV series “The Detectorists.”

This story is about self- sacrifice and dreams we seek to realize. The Flitcroft family consists of Maurice, his wife Jean and her son Mike, born out of wedlock, and their twin sons James and Gene. It is a lighthearted movie that makes you feel good. During hard laborious work and dreams of what could be for yourself and your children an absolutely amazing set of circumstances unfolds. There is no murder, violence or sexual infidelity that Hollywood seems to push in its films and this film is simply delightful. Ordinary people really aren’t ordinary as evidenced by their loyalty, love and care for one another in the midst of differences and hardship. We enjoyed it and perhaps you will also. Even if you only played golf once or twice or never, I think this is a golf movie to which anyone can relate. 

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