Three intertwined stories of lost and unspoken love and the resulting secrets are presented. In one, which begins in 1941 Branagan, Michigan, twenty-one year old Ethel Ann socializes primarily with three male friends, who are all in love with her. She only loves one, Teddy Gordon, their mutual love known within the group. Her parents would never approve of Teddy, the poor country boy, who is building a house for her eventually to be able to show her parents that he is worth something in his love for her. Their relationship is interrupted by the US entry into the war, into which all three men are going into battle. Before their departure, the three men enter into a pact unknown to Ethel Ann. In two, which also takes place in Branagan but in 1991, WWII USAF veteran, septuagenarian Chuck Harris, after an illness, has just passed away. Those that knew him always considered him the reliable one. His death leaves a void in his family as there has always been a distance between his wife and ...Written by
The film opens in 1991, with the funeral of a former World War II veteran. The man's daughter Marie (Neve Campbell) delivers the eulogy to a church full of veterans who knew and loved her father, while her mother Ethel Ann (Shirley MacLaine) is sitting out on the church porch, smoking and nursing a hangover. When Ethel Ann begins acting strangely, only her friend Jack (Christopher Plummer) seems to understand why. It quickly emerges that there is a lot Marie does not know about her mother's past and the true story of her love life.
The movie flips to a time when this mother was young, lively, and optimistic (young Ethel Ann played by Mischa Barton). She is in love with a young farmer, Teddy Gordon (played by Canadian new comer Stephen Amell), who goes off to war with his best friends Jack (Gregory Smith) and Chuck (David Alpay), but not all of them make it back alive. The plot lines intertwine with the story of a young Ulsterman in Belfast who finds a ring in the wreckage of a crashed B-17 and is determined to return it to the woman who once owned it.
Closing the Ring got a lot of mixed reviews when it came out in England in Early 2008. But as a fan of a lot of the actors and director I wanted to see the film (usually not into Romance movies), and tried to keep up with updates on the a films release in Canada. Luckily for me while I was in Toronto, this film was released in theaters with little promotion beforehand, with the expect ion of ET playing a 30 second clip. I decided it was fate for me to see this movie, as it was the only place in Canada where it was playing.
I went with my family and we all enjoyed it. The film did have flaws, a sub plot involving the IRA confused the already busy plot, and Stephaen Arnell who played the gorgeous Mischa Barton's love interest gave a WEAK performance. Usually when an actor gives a bad performance it can ruin a movie, especially with a role as important as his, and surprisingly Barton is able to still act off of him.
Shirley MacClaine, Christopher Plummer, and Neve Campbell all work well of each other in their scenes. While scene stealer's Academy Award Winner Brenda Fricker and unknown actor Martin McCann light up the screen when they were on. Pete Postlethwaite was also very good as the grumpy Irishman Quinlan, but just like the IRA plot, scenes with the young version of him were unesscsesary. Gregory Smith is good and David Alphy does what he can with his nothing role. But the heart of the film is really Mischa Barton. SHe is just adorable, and as a fan of her earlier films (she was also stiff in her TV work), it was nice see her give a great performance, because people have labeled her a bad actress just because of "The OC" and it is too bad the film didn't get a wider release because this is her breakout role, she is wonderful.
All in all, a light film with nice performances and a great score. Great for older and younger audiences. Why did it not get a wide release!?
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