Closing the Ring


(2007) ★★½

ITV3: Sunday 29 November, 11.00pm

When young Martin McCann finds a wedding ring on a Belfast hillside in 1991, it will bring back painful wartime memories for Michigan widow Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, best friend of Shirley’s bomber-crew husband. Mischa Barton is the young MacLaine, Gregory Smith the young Plummer, in a novelettish romance that lurches backwards and forwards like a drunken sailor. The best acting comes in the Belfast subplots: Pete Postlethwaite is quietly affecting as a retired fireman, Brenda Fricker is McCann’s granny, still slapping on the lipstick and rouge in memory of the good old days.

Doling out its meagre secrets like boiled sweets at a dentist’s convention, Closing the Ring, unlike Last Orders, never finds a way to succesfully marry the past with the present. And it overlooks a fine opportunity to end discreetly after 75 minutes, continuing on instead towards an ending on the streets of Belfast that’s absurdly overwrought.

Jeff Danna’s maudlin score and a gruesome end credits ballad (Lost Without Your Love) are no help at all. Not the type of cheap melodramatics you’d normally associate with Gandhi and Shadowlands director Richard Attenborough. This was his final film, and it went straight to dvd in the US. The cherishable Sir Dickie died in August 2014, five days before his 91st birthday.

Certificate: 12
Duration: 113min

IMDB – Closing the Ring

TMDB – Closing the Ring

Rotten Tomatoes – Closing the Ring

Other Showings Date & Time
ITV3 Saturday, 5 December at 1:00AM