My Sailor, My Love Review
My Sailor, My Love (2022) Film Review, a movie directed by Klaus Härö, written by Jimmy Karlsson and Kirsi Vikman and starring James Cosmo, Brid Brennan, Catherine Walker, Nora-Jane Noone, Aidan O’Hare, Molly McCann and Tara Flynn.
Director Klaus Härö presents audiences with a sad but realistic tale of an aging couple in love in the deep, dramatic and moving film, My Sailor, My Love. James Cosmo and Brid Brennan are the stars of the new film and play that couple with emotions that are easy to relate to. As Cosmo’s character Howard’s daughter, Grace (Catherine Walker) plays a larger role in the film, however, the main love story is pushed to the side to focus on the tribulations of Grace who has suffered tremendously in the past. It’s an interesting concept to analyze the love Howard has for Annie (Brennan) and compare it to the neglect he once showed towards Grace. Both the romantic relationship and the familial one presented are compelling enough to keep the viewer intrigued by this movie from beginning to end.
As the film opens, Grace finds herself in a support group where she has a hard time speaking about her problems. She’s a nurse who is married to Martin (Aidan O’Hare) who ends up with a job offer that requires him to move out of town. One of the best scenes in the picture is an argument between Grace and Martin who is thinking about selling their home with little regard to the fact that Grace feels a moral responsibility towards her father. Walker is excellent in the part of Grace who essentially becomes a barrier to the romantic love that Howard and Annie experience in the picture.
Early in the film, Grace hires Annie to take care of Howard who seems to have little ability to do the day-to-day activities that are expected of him. Howard’s home is full of dirty dishes and there’s curdled milk out on the counter. When Annie starts to go to work for Grace as a housekeeper for Howard, he immediately tells Annie he will pay her more than Grace is paying her if she simply leaves. Howard then feels guilty and shows up with flowers for Annie. She then proceeds to go back to work for Grace by tending to Howard’s needs.
Nora-Jane Noone is fine in a supporting performance as Annie’s own daughter, Kelly, who must try to point Annie in the right direction especially when she develops feelings of powerful love for Howard. While Howard and Annie get to know one another and experience romantic chemistry together, it becomes a complicated situation because Grace feels responsible for her dad and thinks that Annie may not be the right answer for him.
It turns out that Grace has feelings of regret towards her dad, Howard. He wasn’t always there for her when he left her with her depressive mom. Grace complicates the relationship Howard has with Annie because Howard doesn’t approach it from a realistic standpoint. For example, Howard retired from being a sailor for reasons that left him unable to drive yet he still drives around town with Annie and her grandchildren, potentially endangering them.
Cosmo captures the depth of his character very skillfully. The relationship his character forms with Brennan’s Annie feels authentic and isn’t overly sugarcoated. Howard wasn’t the best father to Grace which makes the viewer wonder why Grace feels so much responsibility to help him in his later years. However, it seems Grace wants to try to make things right in her life by being there for him as he starts to age and becomes less able to take care of himself. She sees Annie as a threat but she really isn’t. Annie loves Howard and it will take a lot of understanding for all of them to make a compromise before it’s too late.
Catherine Walker, as Grace, has the most difficult role here because she’s the most flawed character on screen. The things she says and does aren’t always right and Cosmo is terrific in a scene where Howard confronts her about her negativity after she ruins a family dinner with Annie’s family. Although the movie never plays it safe with sensitivity regarding Grace, the film also makes some valid points about the difficulties Howard faces in his life. Is romance the best option for him given his ailments? That’s a question that audiences will have to search their souls to answer.
My Sailor, My Love is, surprisingly, not overly sentimental. It has all the elements of a tearjerker and will make the audience cry by the time the credits roll but it also deals with the realities of the story it presents rather effectively. This movie may have benefited from some stronger development of Howard and Annie’s romantic love for one another but it is still a powerful movie nonetheless. It will allow viewers to examine their own moral obligations towards family members and discover, within themselves, what is the best thing for the characters in the movie. It’s a very well made picture that has a lot of heart and a lot of realism interwoven within it.
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