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Film reviews: Run & Jump


Maxine Peake in Run and Jump

Maxine Peake in Run and Jump

Maxine Peake in Run and Jump

OSCAR Wilde believed that "poets are always ahead of science." It seems highly unlikely that such sentiments would cut much ice with Dr Ted Fielding (Nebraska star Will Forte), the character we encounter during the opening stages of director Steph Green's impressive Kerry-based debut feature, Run & Jump.

It's easy to imagine him nodding in agreement by the conclusion, however. Forte's character doesn't become a poet, but going by the manner in which the poignant ending plays out, it's fair to say that a certain poetic transformation has occurred.

As a respected US neuropsychologist, the uptight Fielding has arrived in Kerry complete with portable video camera to "observe and document" the case of stroke victim, Conor Casey (Edward MacLiam). Casey is returning home from hospital to his wife Vanetia (Maxine Peake, inset) and their two kids after being in a coma for an extended period. The transition is not a seamless one. Casey is a shell of the man he once was, and as Fielding monitors his increasingly agitated behaviour, fly-on-the-wall style, there is resentment among the extended family at the intrusion.

Tensions rise as it gradually becomes clear that hopes of a full recovery are starting to look "impossibly optimistic." Added depths and complications arise as a mutual attraction develops between Vanetia and Fielding.

Understated performances from a standout cast combine with a nuanced script to deliver an experience that is enduringly heartwarming.

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