The Nephew (1998)
User ReviewsAdd a Review
They embark on a personal journey full of challenges, surprises, family secrets and an uncertainty as to whether or not they will ever find common ground.
All of the main characters have been convincingly developed and they each have something conceivable and worthy to offer. This may not have been a super-high budget film but the acting is superb. Pierce Brosnan (one of the producers) gives a generous and compelling performance as the conflicted, village bar owner trying to balance parenthood and an amended life from behind the stone wall of a guarded heart. Veteran actor, Donal McCann, in one of his final performances, adds an authentic and credible edge as our protagonist's uncle. Sinead Cusak, Phelim Drew, Niall Tobin, Lorraine Pilkington and Aislin McGuckin also deliver command performances as the villagers that are comprised of both the kindred and not-so-kindred spirits in Chad's new world.
The soundtrack is a compilation of beautiful Irish ballads, old soul and rock as well as various and sundry other scores that lend a tight musical canvas against which this story is painted. It was disappointing to learn that there are no plans to make this soundtrack into an album that could be purchased.
What keeps me coming back to this sweet and gallant movie is its soulfulness and honesty. The map of the human heart is ultimately universal and the characters in this story endeavor to draw their own lines to determine what defines friendship, family and honor.
This is a wonderful, interesting and thoughtfully structured comfort film. It begs to be watched from your favorite easy chair on a cozy day - with feet up, your favorite afghan and a warm cup of tea and favorite cookies nearby.
But I did like his interaction with that guy Sean(I think) about rap music and thought it was hilarious when they where driving and the guy started rapping to him.
Anyway, this was a good interesting movie and Hill Harper is a great and goodlooking promising actor and I look forward to seeing him in other films. The actors were good too, paritcularly Pierce Brosnan and Donal McCann who were good as enemies. I really enjoyed it.
Chad is the 19-yr-old son of an Irish woman who had been "exiled" to America 20 years earlier by her guardian, her older brother. He traveled to visit his uncle Tony upon the death of his mother. Once there, he finds a lot of secrecy and unhappiness, and the rest of the movie is about his attempts to get everything, especially about his mother, out in the open. Along the way he, of course, finds love. Very well cast and acted, this is definitely worth the almost two hours to see.
The pace and method of unfolding the story reminded me of Lone Star, but Lone Star is a significantly better movie overall.
I give it a 7, and that's probably a little generous...
The performances are strong and the story is easy enough to follow with the added challenge of figuring out why the various characters are so irritated. Chad grows to understand how his mother is really the source of much of the drama.
Certain plot points are very convenient, but well played by the actors to make them believable. At one point Chad accidentally uncovers a big "piece in the puzzle". But Hill Harper plays it very naturally and blends it right into the script before you notice its unlikeliness.
The film moves at a respectable pace that still lends itself to the sleepy, nothing-to-do small-town atmosphere that is required to convey the characters' attitudes realistically.
An easy film to watch for adults, definitely boring and inappropriate for the under-sixteen crowd. Good-natured comic relief is in abundance. Even so, it is a bit sentimental and therefore might be cast off as a "chick movie" by younger boys/men.
While he takes you on a journey of discovering this town, it's people and his family history, it's hard to notice how unrealistically well the townsfolk accept him (the first person of color they've probably ever seen up close); or the nonexistence of a language barrier between Chad and the townsfolk. The storyline is too interesting for this kind of nitpicking.
Under the masquerade of family history there are several love stories. This movie relies heavily on a hopelessly romantic audience. Anyone not wooed by the romantic backbone of the story will probably consider this movie to be only mediocre, for they will focus on the large gap between The Nephew and the real world. But for people who love happy endings and watch movies hoping to see something lighter than real life, this movie is simply a delight.
Since I am one of those people, in my opinion this movie is wonderful.
Others have given the plot summary, so I'll just make a couple of comments. First, I thought the ending seemed pretty forced, and not in keeping with the spirit of the rest of the movie. It could have been worse, but it could have been better too.
Second, although Pierce Brosnan didn't do a bad job in his role, I just didn't find him believable. Part of the reason was that he's 10 years younger than Tony, even though they were supposed to be contemporaries (at least, that's the impression I got) in the movie. He just seemed too young for the part.
He also just looked out of place. All the rest of the actors looked like they really belonged in this small town, while Brosnan looks like a Hollywood star. These aren't things that he can do anything about, but the casting director should have taken it into consideration when casting the part.
Overall, I would say that it's a movie worth watching, both for the love story between Chad and Aislin, and for the family histories and intrigue in the past that can't be forgotten. A flawed movie, but still worth seeing. 7 stars.
I recommend this movie to anyone that enjoys the real relationships of life. The give and take of actual life over what Hollywood and New York would like us to think of as true life. For me (being in the US) this is a Foreign Film, but only because of the filming location. The story is quite universal and not limited by the location.
The characters are well-drawn and not simplistic. Chad is a clever and sensitive boy who understands that his uncle's roughness and tries not to have a strike with him. Jo is not only the lady-killer widower he seems to be and proves to be actually a good father...
The Nephew is a good film, with a good script and good actors, which doesn't need to use big tricks to be touching. Quite rare nowadays.
The film also shows a life "lost" due to lack of communication, forgiveness, and crowned with stubborn self-righteousness, but just perhaps at the end when all is revealed, a new beginning. Other critiques have noted it was a "pat" ending, but I'd like to think that it was just a beginning... As Chad remarked, to Patsy "Believe it or not, I am Irish".