The Phantom of the Open (2021) Review

Based on the very true story of Maurice Flitcroft a dreamer who decided he would enter The British Open Golf Championship in 1976 despite having much experience with the sport and scores the worst ever round in Open history.


Maurice wanted nothing more than to chase dreams and make something of his life, when he meets Jean he focuses on her and her son Michael who he raises as his own. They then also had twins James and Gene, all of whom he tries to inspire to chase dreams and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Always supported by his wife and encouraged, no matter how crazy his idea is.

One night when watching the new TV which has three channels on it, he stumbles across the golf and finding himself transfixed on the screen he suddenly decides that he will play in the British Open. Even though he had never played a round before, practicing on the beach and in other spaces, rejected from joining a golf club despite ensuring his outfit is ok.

In the mean time Michael is attempting to grow at work and getting better opportunities which is also linked to the closure and everything changing, with redundancies a possibility which will likely see Maurice lose his job. The twins obsessed with disco dancing, chase the dream of being world champions.

In 1976 it seems that entering the open with the handwritten form and selecting professional was a rather simple and easy way to gain entry into the qualifying rounds. Although his horrific performance quickly gains attention with Keith Mackenzie even asking him to retire from the game, of course Maurice was never going to actually do that!

Reminding myself that this was based on a true story and events that actually happened made it even more amusing at times, as you cannot even begin to imagine attempting to play a round of golf for the first time with some of the best players in the world. It really would be utter carnage.

The whole point of the film is a lot deeper than just telling the story about how he did this, but more so having a dream and wanting to try and achieve it. I guess going in at the very top is a stretch for most dreams but even within this crazy idea you could see progress and how practice and training can really make an impact. Therefore resulting in a rather impressive and well balanced film. I have to admit I was not expecting the final scene at all!

Mark Rylance is an utter joy to behold from start to finish and truly the perfect casting choice for Maurice, managing to capture the highs and lows he goes through. He really will throw himself at not only different roles but another different accent as well. I am such a big fan of his and love that he is selective in his film roles and prefers on stage acting. Sally Hawkins as always was just great and worked so well with Rylance. Rhys Ifans is always impressive and in this one taking on the villain (kinda) of the piece.

2 thoughts on “The Phantom of the Open (2021) Review

  1. I adored this one. The perfect antidote to Ukraine news. I gave it a 5* which might be over-egged but it’s how it made me feel. I think this will be a BIG hit, especially with creaky silver-screeners like me.

    Liked by 1 person

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