Title: My Sailor, My Love
MPA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Klaus Härö
Starring: James Cosmo, Brid Brennan, Catherine Walker
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
What It Is: Howard (Cosmo) is a retired and widowed sailor, renowned around town for his stories and ventures, and lives by the seaside by himself. Though Howard often enjoys himself with others, his relationship with his middle-aged nurse daughter Grace (Walker) is strained, further stressed by his increased inability to take care of himself. Grace herself faces troubles in her life, struggling with her marriage and the stress of her work, so to ensure her father’s safety, she hires a caretaker named Annie (Brennan). Howard begins to find Annie to be a shining light in his life, the two coming together and reviving each other’s spirits, which disturbs Grace as she finds herself between wanting the love of her father and still healing from old wounds.
What We Think: A wonderful film to watch with your romantic partner and your family, this romantic drama revealed itself as quite a delicious surprise. While I’m often lost by the futility and repetition often suffered by many other dramas, romantic or not, this film didn’t at all have that problem. It’s a reminder of how important facilitating the space between characters is. The relationships between Howard, his daughter, and Annie are portrayed with an enlightened subtlety, sympathy, and delicacy as they traverse new territory in their lives, only for all of it to be short-lived. Though I myself at the moment have barely broken in the age of twenty-four, I felt very close to how age was portrayed in this film, from the threat of age, disease, and death being held over the heads of the characters, but also how their experiences have expanded them and damaged them over all those years. They’re often flawed and none-the-wiser, sometimes self-centered, but not out of anything malicious or spiteful, but out of being individuals who suddenly crash into each other by fate and are challenged by change. It’s a human drama, gracefully reminiscent of 20th-century dramas, with moving performances and breathtaking cinematography that, again, importantly leaves space for us to breathe and take things in.
Our Grade: B+, Brilliantly sweet and uniquely romantic, this film understands how to build up and break down human relationships, considering how the past affects us in the now. It’s beautifully made with cinematography that showcases every environment meditatively, making you wish you were there to smell the sea and the grass in the little Irish town it takes place in. The cast provides tender performances, as there is no real villain or antagonist to be seen–just their, and our, own compulsions that drive them forward in spite of consequences. The nuances the story brings to this love story snowballs it into something big and real; heart-swelling and possibly even tear-jerking, just as observing a real romance should make you feel. This film reminded me of being in love, having my own familial issues, and the challenge of moving forward, and forgiveness. If you have the time to consider something lovely and moving without being schlocky, and like films of a similar nature, I would absolutely recommend giving this film a go.