If there’s anything we need after the last 18 months, it’s a film that’s purely feelgood – and what better than an underdog sports movie crossed with the crowd-pleasing British charms of Eddie The Eagle and The Full Monty? Enter The Phantom Of The Open, the latest film from Submarine-star-turned-filmmaker Craig Roberts, telling the true story of Maurice Flitcroft – aka ‘the world’s worst golfer’. Roberts’ third film as director stars the legendary Mark Rylance as Flitcroft, a working-class dreamer who entered himself into The Open in the mid-‘70s despite never having played golf properly in his life. Take a look at the warm, witty trailer here – and catch the film at this year’s BFI London Film Festival as Empire’s own Special Presentation feature.
Doesn’t that look like a blast of cinematic sunshine? Starring alongside Rylance is Sally Hawkins, who previously starred for Roberts in his last film Eternal Beauty, as his wife Jean, plus Rhys Ifans as his nemesis Mackenzie, intent on getting him banned from the sport. On screenplay duties for this one is the great Simon Farnaby, who co-wrote the screenplay for Paddington 2, as well as writing on Yonderland, Ghosts, and Julian Barratt comedy Mindhorn – and if you look closely, you’ll see him in the trailer too.
The Phantom Of The Open screens at the BFI London Film Festival 2021 on 12 and 13 October, and comes to UK cinemas on 5 November. Be sure to seek it out on release – it’s a golf movie that’s well above par.