Tommy’s Honour

three stars

Dir: Jason Connery

With: Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden

FROM the home of golf comes a drama about the beginnings of the game.

Tommy’s Honour was a neat choice to open the Edinburgh International Film Festival last night. The story of Tom Morris and his eldest son is a handsome affair. But just as golf has been described as a good walk spoiled, so this could be regarded as a fair to middling movie held down by its staid subject matter. It is, alas, awfy dull in the golf parts.

Jack Lowden plays young Tommy Morris, whose father, old Tom (Peter Mullan) is the greenkeeper at the Royal and Ancient Club at St Andrews. Tom knows his place, tending to the whims of rich men, but his son, also a golfer, wants a lot more.

A fair bit of moustache-twirling and soapiness goes on as director Jason Connery (son of Sean) sets out his late nineteenth stall. The drama moseys along, only to be brought to a halt by the golfing interludes. There are so many scenes of crowds walking from one hole to another, one is positively praying for someone to come along and invent the golf buggy.

One imagines these parts will be of interest to golfers, if no-one else. Lowden’s performance as Tommy, though, would delight anyone. Last seen as Nikolai Rostov in the BBC’s War and Peace, he is proving to be a prince among young actors.