Local Hero

I love this film so much. I have seen it many, many times and it never fails to charm and delight me. It has an air of quiet melancholy, and the ending is on the bitter side of bittersweet, but it’s very funny, and very moving. The beauty of the landscape and the earthy eccentricity of the locals contrasting wiith brashness of the American interlopers makes for a comedy of culture clash, and yes, lessons are learned and people change, but it never veers into sentimentality or cliche.

There is a yearning for a better, simpler life running through the story, a yearning I respond to. And the music is beautiful and the ending makes me cry and “Are there two G’s in bugger off?”.

Featuring a cast which includes a young Peter Capaldi and an old Burt Lancaster, the performances are pitch-perfect, and the script is witty and humane. I love it. Oh, just watch it, willya? I just watched the above clip and I’m already a li’l bit emotional…

Here’s what happens when director Bill Forsythe, who also wrote and directed the equally funny and almost as affecting Gregory’s Girl, is reunited with the town of Pennan 25 years after shooting wrapped. It turns out Mark Kermode has seen the film more times than me. I would never have pegged him as a fan.

2 thoughts on “Local Hero

  1. Absolutely fabulous. Thank you so much for including this film with Mark Kermode and Bill Forsythe on your website. Fantastic. Pennan is wonderful. Unforgettable. Hopefully not too many people know this. If you, James, happen to know where the church they used in Local Hero is located I would love to know as we want to visit that too. Did you notice how many jokes there are which don’t need words?

  2. Thanks Rosemary. I’d love to visit Pennan. In fact, it’s on my list of things to do this year. No idea where the church is, though, I’m afraid.

    It’s a wonderful film, and there are so many great visual jokes. That motorbike for one…

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