Movie Review – Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)

Wild Mountain Thyme, 2020.

Written and Directed by John Patrick Shanley.
Starring Jamie Dornan, Emily Blunt, Jon Hamm, Christopher Walken, Dearbhla Molloy, Jon Tenney, Danielle Ryan, Lydia McGuinness, Darragh O’Kane, and Abigail Coburn.



A pair of star-crossed lovers in Eire get caught up of their household’s land dispute.


Wild Mountain Thyme is a romantic story equal elements standard, regressive, and endearingly unusual. One would assume John Patrick Shanley would know the way to piece these components collectively contemplating he’s adapting his personal stageplay (an endeavor that garnered him reward and awards recognition for Doubt). Set on a farm someplace off in Eire within the current day (there may be so little use of know-how and fashionable instruments that you just wouldn’t even realize it till one of many movie’s main American characters exhibits up in a Rolls-Royce), the main target is on Rosemary (Emily Blunt), or moderately her uncomfortable obsession with dwelling to make her neighbor (they stay on the identical piece of land solely separated by a gate that shortly turns into an necessary side to the narrative) Anthony (the Irish Jamie Dornan, who makes everybody else look misplaced) her husband. It’s not a lot a crush however extra so loneliness manifested into an unsettling attachment that’s presupposed to be romantic however simply finally ends up making the character look outlined by needing a person even when she does exhibit independence on the farm.

The kicker is that Anthony, for a mess of causes (one in every of which is so weird it virtually redeems the film and makes one want the tone was at all times that full-tilt quirky) is unable to admit his personal emotions for Rosemary. As a lot as he needs her, he doesn’t even assume they’d be a superb match. A few of it is because of his personal particular person baggage whereas it’s implied that a part of it’s due to the connection between his dad and mom, particularly the shortage of affection his dad had for his mother.


Parental figures play a large half in Wild Mountain Thyme, particularly provided that following a childhood prologue, the story opens up proper after the dying of Rosemary’s father (recognized for venting by taking his shotgun to crows within the sky). Anthony’s father Tony (Christopher Walken of all folks, who appears to be enjoying each scene restlessly and out of breath) can be prepping for dying, solely he’s not promoting his land to his son. As a substitute, it is going to be going to his American nephew Adam (Jon Hamm as soon as once more serviceable he pulling off the elitist businessman character) as Tony believes his son Anthony is neither an actual farmer nor actual man contemplating he spends his days fishing and toying round with a metallic detector to the land.

Rosemary’s mom Aoife (Dearbhla Molloy) can be ailing with a failing physique (everyone seems to be sick on this rattling film as obstacles in direction of the offspring getting collectively hinge on loneliness and cussed selections from elders), which solely seems to be additional instilling in her to seek out love quickly. There’s a terrific scene the place Rosemary turns down Adam’s advances of flying her into New York and taking her to see a stage play of The Lion King; she’s a easy individual that doesn’t want such grand gestures or a metropolis setting. She even throws in a pleasant dig at him feeling compelled to point out as much as a farm in a Rolls-Royce. The person doesn’t actually wish to personal a farm, it’s simply one other standing image achievement for him.


Nonetheless, there’s no shock how any of that is going to finish up. The one questions are what number of previous individuals are going to die alongside the way in which and what’s it about Anthony that’s actually stopping him from professing his love in direction of a lady that’s clearly loopy about him. Albeit, loopy in ways in which really feel like a step backward by way of romantic tales. For now, I’ll say that a number of folks do die and that you just received’t care anyway as a result of it lands with no emotional resonance by any means.

Different eccentricities of Wild Mountain Thyme embrace Rosemary’s fascination with Swan Lake, making for seemingly extra needle drops of the classical music than in Black Swan. Additionally, regardless of having pointless narration from Christopher Walken, there occurs to be considerably of a village fool twisting tales into absurdity which might have not less than made for an entertaining narrator that works with the offbeat vibe. After all, the eponymous tune can be carried out, and can almost certainly be forgotten by the point the credit roll. Wild Mountain Thyme is just not a foul film per se, however it’s positively not assured in itself to embrace its odd qualities, one thing that’s essential to offset its predictability and lack of robust characters.

Flickering Fable Ranking – Movie: ★ ★ / Film: ★ ★

Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Movie Critics Affiliation and the Critics Alternative Affiliation. He’s additionally the Flickering Fable Critiques Editor. Examine right here for brand new evaluations, observe my Twitter or Letterboxd, or electronic mail me at [email protected]


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