Coming to theatres as well as Video on Demand this Friday from director Steph Green, Samson Films and Bavaria Pictures is a family’s struggle when you RUN & JUMP.
This film tells the story of Vanetia (Maxine Peake) and her husband Conor (Edward MacLiam). Conor has suffered a stroke and returned to the family with brain damage. Trying to help her husband, Vanetia calls in the help of medical researcher Ted (Will Forte), a slightly uptight camera obsessed observer.
Ted attempts to watch the family from afar and through the lenses. He observes Conor’s obsession with wood and other idiosyncrasies. Living with the family he also becomes concerned about their teen-son Lenny (Brendan Morris) and young daughter Noni (Ciara Gallagher).
A friendship begins between Vanetia and Ted grows especially when she observes Conor responding to the researcher. This high-spirited wife leaves her mark on everyone’s heart, which makes the breaking of it hard for all.
FINAL WORD: Peake as Vanetia is a woman searching for the only life she’s known. Watching the man she married move further into his own world is devastating. Now raising two children on her own, it’s as if Conor is a tenant in her home instead of a husband/father. Ted brings a light but could it be that of an oncoming emotional train!
MacLiam as Conor is so intense to watch. There is so much alive in him yet the connections he has towards his life are a mystery to others. There are such tender moments when Conor tries to reconnect with who he was before the stroke. MacLiam has such a difficult character to play yet he does so extremely well.
Forte as Ted comes into this family’s life so detached and focused on being the researcher. Vanetia’s vibrancy catches him by surprise and begins to feel the attachment to them all. In this oddly emotional three-some, Forte enjoys the company of both Vanetia and Conor as much as they enjoy his. Forte has proved himself with the Oscar nominated film NEBRASKA and the role as David Grant, now with RUN & JUMP I can not wait to see what he does next.
Morris makes his mark in this film even though quietly and with such pain. As a young man watching his mother deal with taking care of the family, a father who is not the man the teen remembers and a young sister – his own secret takes its toll.
Other cast include: Sharon Hogan as Tara, Clare Barrett as Susan, Ri Galway as Simon, Kelby Guilfoyle as Fergus, Michael Harding as Paddy, Tim Landers as Coach Gary, and Ruth McCabe as Nora.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give RUN & JUMP four tubs of popcorn out of five. I know it’s early in the year to be giving such high marks but there is almost nothing about this film I don’t enjoy. The characters are lively yet intense, emotional yet afraid of those emotions and hiding the frustration of how fragile we truly are.
The music adds so much emotion to a story that is already filled to its brim with intensity. It is light and beautiful with an endearing quality that is perfection. The ending of the film is amazing and is the final pull of the heartstrings. Director Green along with the amazing cast gives us encouragement and sadness yet hope for each one of the characters.
This film is already the Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival and winner of the Best Irish Feature at the Galway Film Festival.
In the end – who they are in the past will unite them with who they are now.
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