Roundup: Tommy's Honour Reviews, Filming Backstory

The LA Times' Kevin Crust gives Tommy's Honour a very positive review, calling the film "handsomely produced" while weaving in current (golfing) events with his review.

He writes:

Connery and his crew, including director of photography Gary Shaw, production designer James Lapsley and costume designer Rhonda Russell, richly evoke the harsh beauty of Scotland, while warmly re-creating the style and manners of the period. There’s a certain “Chariots of Fire”-like reverence for all things golf and Scottish, but the woolly courses, a far cry from the manicured fairways of today, and comparatively crude implements used by the players, provide an earthy balance.

Variety's Peter Debruge gives a largely glowing review though does take issue with the golf swings.

While there's a certain charm in seeing these early sportsmen dressed as though ready for mass (no kilts, alas), the golf scenes are undone by the fact that no one can actually swing a club. For some roles, actors will learn to play an instrument of master a manual skill, but there's none of that authenticity here. Instead, Connery has gone back in post and unconvincingly inserted digital balls, which defy the laws of physics as blatantly as the CG goo in Disney's "Flubber." The strategy robs us of what little thrill golf has to offer, whether spectating live or on TV, as impossible shots remain precisely that: impossible.

Thankfully, Connery has kept the story's human side grounded in the real world, and those are the only stakes that matter.

Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times slaughters the film, calling it staid.

Redolent of damp wool and dour personalities, “Tommy’s Honour” wants to convince us that watching two men bicker and bang balls into tiny holes for the better part of two hours is the height of entertainment.

Not that I wasn’t open to persuasion. For one thing, this staid biopic was prettily filmed in my beloved Scotland and directed by Jason Connery (the son of Sean Connery).

Peter Rainer, reviewing for the Christian Science Monitor leads by saying Tin Cup is the best golf movie ever made and...I stopped reading.

Adam Schupak in the Morning Read talks to the film's producers about what inspired their desire to turn Kevin Cook's book into a film.

The Old Course in its present state was too manicured to represent the 1860s and ’70s. Striving for authenticity, the filmmakers found Balcarres estate, about 30 minutes south of St. Andrews. Funny enough, golf's most cherished temple was reproduced in a cow pasture. Once the filmmakers relocated the cows and cut down the weeds, they built two holes, including the famed 18th. That meant digging a Swilcan Burn and the bridge that golfers know and love.

"There's a little movie magic involved," said Keith Bank, one of the producers, noting that the snow in a winter scene was shot with paper on a 60-degree day.