Run & Jump

Film poster for Irish film Run & Jump - HeadStuff.orgI don’t know if I was expecting this film to be bad. Maybe I was completely neutral about it. But it’s not bad. It’s actually quite good. Maybe I was worried that there was an SNL player in an Irish movie. Or maybe I thought there’d be too many indulgent (even if pretty) shots of Kerry. I’m generally skeptical when there’s an American in an Irish movie, for one, they can’t do Irish accents, ever. Will Forte plays an American in this film so that’s not an issue. But we are so used to watching U.S. movies and T.V. shows that, on screen, it’s like American accents are the right accents. When watching an Irish movie you forget that and just go with it. But when you put an American into a film with Irish people (or an Irish-accented person into an American film) it makes it really stand out how Irish Irish people are.

We’re so bloody Irish.

In Run & Jump, Will Forte plays an American scientist who is watching Conor (Edward McLiam) as a case study. Will Forte is good. There’s a lot more to him than MacGruber. See his recent film Nebraska for confirmation of his acting chops. He plays Ted, the doctor who, at first, seems kind of cold, distant. He wants to be there only as a watcher, just a camera, he doesn’t want to get involved in the family. He seems lonely. In a nice scene with Conor’s young daughter, Noni, she asks does he have a family.



“Why not?”

“I’m a scientist instead.”


The film opens with a close-up of a flower which plucks my fear-that-it’s going-to-be-all-shots-of-landscapes string. Then there are dolls with pictures of different faces stuck over their normal doll-faces, this suggests, perhaps, that someone is not as they were.

Then we see Vanetia (Maxine Peake), the mother. She is preparing for a big day, she rubs the creases out of her forehead, she has been stressed. She’s picking up her husband Conor from the hospital. Conor Casey has suffered a rare stroke which has left him vague, obsessive over mundane, pointless things (spoons, wooden spheres).

With Conor back home living with his wife, two kids, Ted the scientist (who lives in the house and his research grant gives them much-needed finance) and also constant visits from Conor’s parents and Sharon Horgan, it doesn’t take long for drama to ensue.

The film is sweet and touching with many funny bits. The performances are strong and the script is solid. I have read a novel by the writer Ailbhe Keoghan, and it’s quite different, experimental and edgy. This film is a lot more straight, but still fresh and tight. There are lovely lines: “I hate pity, it’s like someone wrapping a wet blanket around you when you’re cold” And, “an empty dancefloor is a wound that needs healing.”

Vanetia is huge music fan, there’s barely a scene that goes by without her listening to, choosing music or fixing a music player (the CD player in her car is temperamental which is symbolic of her husband’s new childlike mind), this lends itself to a very lovely soundtrack throughout.

I very much enjoyed this film. It was an interesting look at a difficult situation that, gladly, most people never have to suffer through. It’s well-acted, well-written and well-directed by the obviously capable (Oscar nominated) Steph Green which all means it’s well worth a watch.