Sunday 19 May 2019

The Man Who Wanted to Fly review: 'Irresistible documentary following the fortunes of a County Cavan Icarus'

4 stars

The Man Who Wanted to Fly
The Man Who Wanted to Fly
Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

Frank Shouldice’s irresistible documentary follows the fortunes of a County Cavan Icarus, Bobby Coote, who’s dreamt of flying for half a century.

He and his brother Frank, who are both in their 80s, live together on an ancestral family plot. Though very different personalities, they rub along very well, but Frank has doubts about Bobby’s desire to leave terra firma.

“He’s a genius,”Frank says, “he has a head of brains, but he has this daft notion of flying. “The dream,” he adds witheringly, “doesn’t match his age.”

Bobby’s having none of this negativity, persuades a friend to plough a field sideways to make a runway, and starts experimenting with microlites.

The Cootes are much loved local characters, and Bobby’s neighbours are keen to help. Frank watches on amused: “half-wit”, he mutters affectionately at one point, as Bobby rides a bicycle backwards around the yard.

But nothing will deter Bobby. When the filmmaker asks when he’ll fly, Bobby smiles and replies,“as the fox said when he got his tail cut off, it’ll not be long now.”

(12A, 86mins)

Also releasing this week:

Dumbo review: 'Humour, heart and visual panache but your heartstrings are not tugged as they might and should have been'


At Eternity’s Gate review: 'Willem Dafoe ought to have won the Best Actor Oscar instead of Rami Malek'

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