A young man, Pat, visits the clan of gypsy-like grifters (Irish Travellers) in rural North Carolina from whom he is descended. He is at first rejected, but cousin Bokky takes him on as an ...
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A young man, Pat, visits the clan of gypsy-like grifters (Irish Travellers) in rural North Carolina from whom he is descended. He is at first rejected, but cousin Bokky takes him on as an apprentice. Pat learns the game while Bokky falls in love and desires a different life. Written by
Jeff Hole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Josh Hartnett tried out for the role of Pat, but Mark Wahlberg was given the part instead. See more »
Pat calls Kate while on the road with Bokky. She picks up the phone at her parents living room. She wears a wrist watch with a shiny bracelet. Cut. Then the watch is gone, cut, then the watch is back again. See more »
One thing at a time. Right now you have to take care of what you need to be taking care of and you may just find that the rest will take care of itself. Think about it.
Ain't nothing to think about
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Longtime Clint Eastwood cinematographer Jack N. Green made his directorial debut with this combination of character study and drama. It tells the story of modern day gypsy types (of Irish descent) such as "Bokky" (Bill Paxton). Guys like Bokky basically make their living by scamming people; in the films' opening minutes, Bokky is pretending to fix a homeowners' driveway. Into their lives comes Pat (Mark Wahlberg), whose father had left the clan to get married. Therefore, Pat's not exactly welcomed by these people, but Bokky decides to take Pat under his wing. Trouble brews for our unlikely hero when, after taking pity on and falling in love with a "mark" (Julianna Margulies), he starts developing a set of scruples.
Some people might find the ugliness of the climax a little hard to take, but it doesn't exactly come out of left field. Bokky and company had to know that there would be repercussions for their actions. Still, this is a reasonably well made and reasonably well told story, written with heart by Jim McGlynn and directed with efficiency by Green. The filmmakers do keep you watching as things develop, even if, overall, there's a sense of predictability to the scenario. The soundtrack - both the score by Andy Paley and the selection of tunes - is pleasing to listen to. The pacing is generally adequate, with a fairly straightforward narrative.
The acting is the most effective component. Paxton delivers a typically engaging performance, while Margulies is appealing as his love interest. Wahlberg is fine as the neophyte who takes a bit of time to ease into the art of scamming. Veterans like Rance Howard, Luke Askew, and Jo Ann Pflug are all solid in supporting roles. It's particularly amusing to see Rance and his late wife Jean, the parents of Ron H., both making appearances. But the person who walks away with the film is a very funny and lively James Gammon as "outlaw Gypsy" Double D, constantly popping up in Bokky's life and urging him to join in on a con job.
Other than Gammons' performance, there's nothing really exceptional here, but "Traveller" does entertain for 100 minutes.
Seven out of 10.
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