The dramatic setting for Finnish filmmaker Klaus Haro’s first English-language film is the Irish island of Achill, where the acclaimed Banshees of Inisherin was filmed.
Scottish actor James Cosmo plays a curmudgeonly old man, a retired sea captain, Howard, who lives alone and rejects attempts by his dutiful daughter Grace (Catherine Walker) to improve his life.
He is positively rude to the widowed housekeeper Annie (the charming Brid Brennan) hired by Grace to put some order into his messy home.
“How much is she paying you?” he asks Annie.
“I’ll give you five if you never darken my door again.”
Annie has had enough. She walks out and does not return until he appears at her home with a bunch of flowers and an apology.
With a film entitled My Sailor My Love, it is no surprise to find that a late-life romance slowly blossoms between the old grump and the gentle Annie.
The surprise comes with the anger and bitterness shown by the dutiful daughter, jealous her ailing father has found new happiness with Annie and her daughter and grandchildren.
Grace confronts Annie, telling her Howard’s whole life has been making sure his own needs were met, how he abandoned her when she was 14, leaving her alone to care for her mentally ill mother.
“I’ve been constantly punished for caring for others,” Grace laments.
Catherine Walker gives a moving portrayal of a frustrated and unappreciated woman whose attitude reflects her overwhelming bitterness.
Cosmo is excellent as the difficult old man, so hard on his daughter yet happy and relaxed with Annie and her family. Brid Brennan is just right as the kind and understanding Annie.
Sensitively scripted by Jimmy Karlsson and Kirsi Vikman, the film is thoughtful and unsentimental without being judgmental.
It features beautiful cinematography by Robert Nordstrom and a sweeping score from Belgian composer Michelino Bisceglia.
My Sailor My Love opens on Thursday, August 31, at Luna Leederville, Luna On Sx and the Windsor.
Watch the trailer…