Closing the Ring
Military drama directed by 84-year-old Richard Attenborough Discuss this article
At 84, director Richard Attenborough has a new film, energised presumably by an endearing tale with strong appeal for the more mature viewer. Michigan, 1991, and a World War II flyer goes to his grave after years of an empty marriage, leaving widow MacLaine with some explaining to do to bristling daughter Campbell. Meanwhile, in Belfast, treasure hunters (Michael McCann and Pete Postlethwaite) risk the wrath of the IRA by excavating a site where a US bomber went down during the war, discovering a ring which could link destinies on both sides of the Atlantic.
Although fortunes unfold at a pace unhurried by today’s standards, and the melodramatic final reel flirts with incredulity, the film’s affirmation that it’s never too late to set lives in order carries a ruminative emotional charge. While MacLaine’s indomitable form is something to see, the story’s awkward contrivances prove insurmountable. With all the will in the world, this is a mere footnote to Attenborough’s filmography.
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