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In 1943, A dying gunner, who was in a crash involving a United States B-17, gives a ring to a local to return to his girlfriend in the USA. Fifty years later, a man finds the ring and tracks down the girlfriend and the history of this ring. Set in Belfast and Michigan. Written by
I must hand it to Lord Attenborough who is attempting a chick flick to keep up with the times. Can anyone else attract the level of talent in the film: Christopher Plummer, Shirley Maclaine, Neve Campbell, Mischa Barton? The story has great promise. It opens with the funeral of a young woman's beloved daughter who is delivering her eulogy to a church full of veterans who knew and loved her father. Her mother, on the other hand, is sitting out on the church porch, smoking and nursing a hangover.
What develops from this story shows us a time when this mother was young, lively, and optimistic. She is in love with a young farmer who must go off to war. They always go out with two friends who are the best buds a guy could have.
The movie is also interspersed with a story that takes place in Belfast. You know that at some point, the film will have to knit these two elements together. There are numerous light moments to offset the darker experiences of love and loss during war. Ethel Ann (Maclaine)has loved well and was always loved but she is too self-involved to understand that she has used her own tragedies to punctuate her relationship with her daughter (Campbell).
Some of the younger actors in this are Canadian talent. I hope that this film gives them the exposure that they need to continue making their way up the talent ladder. David Alpay from Slings and Arrows is terrific as is Allan Hawco. I wanted to see more of them and less of Mischa Barton whose acting is wooden at the best of times.
At the Toronto Film Festival screening yesterday, the projector had a hiccup during the sow. Stephen Amell who plays Teddy got onto the stage and had an impromptu Q&A to save the day. It was fascinating to hear how he was cast and what kind of experience an actor has when they work with Richard Attenborough.
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