Bill Paxton has taken the true story of the 1913 US golf open and made a film that is about much more than an extra-ordinary game of golf. The film also deals directly with the class tensions of the early twentieth century and touches upon the profound anti-Catholic prejudices of both the British and American establishments. But at heart the film is about that perennial favourite of triumph against the odds.
The acting is exemplary throughout. Stephen Dillane is excellent as usual, but the revelation of the movie is Shia LaBoeuf who delivers a disciplined, dignified and highly sympathetic performance as a working class Franco-Irish kid fighting his way through the prejudices of the New England WASP establishment. For those who are only familiar with his slap-stick performances in "Even Stevens" this demonstration of his maturity is a delightful surprise. And Josh Flitter as the ten year old caddy threatens to steal every scene in which he appears.
A old fashioned movie in the best sense of the word: fine acting, clear directing and a great story that grips to the end - the final scene an affectionate nod to Casablanca is just one of the many pleasures that fill a great movie.