Before us dig into the pungent and chunky irish stew the is “Wild hill Thyme,” let us an initial talk around the accents. Castle a problem, and they’re anywhere the place.

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Granted, an irish accent is amongst the hardest come master, unless you possess Streepian levels of mimicry abilities. Hell, i’m 44 percent irish according come my latest Ancestry.com DNA analysis—which defines the hereditary alcoholism and inability to tan—and ns wouldn’t even play roughly with one when joking through friends, much much less as the star that a motion picture.


And yet, right here we have a bevy of developed actors doing just that, through varying degrees of success. Jamie Dornan is the most accomplished, unsurprisingly, since he’s irish himself—albeit from Belfast, several hours away on the opposite coast from ar Mayo where “Wild mountain Thyme” is set. Emily Blunt’s is wobblier 보다 you’d expect, given that her musical theatre background should, in theory, administer her a strong ear for such a challenge. And then yes sir Christopher Walken, who’s essentially delivering his lines in his trademark, halting style, with simply the slightest bit of a brogue sprinkled top top top. The … awkward. It’s together if he is barely even trying, which perhaps is for the better.

But it also serves as a distraction right off the top, when we listen Walken to speak in an enthusiastic voiceover at the film’s start: “Welcome to Ireland. Mine name’s Tony Reilly. Ns dead!”

These three sentences set the tone for the rest of man Patrick Shanley’s film in the conflicted reaction they’ll stir in you. Over and also over again, friend won’t understand whether to feel baffled or amused—although by the end, the previous feeling most assuredly dominates the latter. In adapting his Broadway play Outside Mullingar for the screen, Shanley still intends for big, theatrical emotions, leading to a movie that’s relentlessly whimsical. And in trotting the end myriad ireland stereotypes, it’s tough to tell even if it is he way them earnestly or as discovering self-parody. ~ the third or fourth time you watch sweeping aerial shots the lush, verdant hills v the sound of lilting pan flutes play the background, you half expect to view a leprechaun bounding throughout the countryside, hiding native those children who room “after me happy Charms.”

In the middle of every this eye-catching idyll (the occupational of cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt) is a romantic comedy no hope straining because that the lightness of a fairy tale. At times, the conversation leaps and also snaps, together you’d suppose from the Oscar-winning writer of “Moonstruck.” Everyone’s so handsome and also there room SO numerous cozy sweaters and also clunky boots to gain on those merganser days. However these characters are barely more than a arsenal of quirks, and the thing that’s keeping them indigenous being together forever has gained to it is in the many ridiculous of every contrivances.


Blunt and also Dornan co-star as Rosemary Muldoon and also Anthony Reilly—Tony’s son—who’ve grown increase in this landscape wonderland and spent every their lives on neighboring farms. She’s sassy and no-nonsense. He is gentle and a little awkward. A slight from childhood, i beg your pardon we watch in very early flashback, and the legal rights to a little piece of soil connecting their families’ properties serve as insurmountable obstacles come the fact that they’re clearly meant because that one another. Besides knowing everything about each other, sharing years of history and enjoying a lively chemistry, castle the just single, gorgeous human being of their period around. And so we need to wait 102 minutes because that them to recognize they’ve secretly been in love with each various other all this time.

But the come from brand-new York of Anthony’s cousin, Adam, eventually shakes Rosemary and also Anthony from your romantic détente. Jon Hamm dram him with all-American, capitalistic swagger and also greed (and, mercifully, no accent), and also he serves as our conduit in marveling at this place that’s wondrous yet stuck in time. He is flown to Ireland in hopes of staking his case to the Reilly family farm—including that debated stretch of roadway that links it to Rosemary’s—and perhaps to Rosemary herself.

As the negative escalates, we’re treated to together wacky encounters as Anthony practicing his proposal to Rosemary ~ above a donkey, sparking a rumor among the regional eccentrics about his affection for livestock. He additionally falls out of a boat, and while Dornan seems game for the change of speed this type of physics comedy affords him, it’s not exactly his solid suit. Rosemary, meanwhile, has a majestic equine that has actually a habit of running away in a bit of an noticeable metaphor. However she likewise gets a chance to expose her sensitive side when she it s okay up on stage at the pub and also sings the traditional, Irish folk song that offers “Wild mountain Thyme” that title.

And it’s in moments favor this, once the movie settles down and also stops do the efforts so hard to please us, that it actually connects. The most efficient scene in the totality film is one understated one the takes ar in Rosemary’s kitchen, once she and Anthony start to get ethical with one an additional while trapped inside throughout a storm. There’s genuine emotion and also tension blended in between the laughs in this climactic, claustrophobic conversation. And because Blunt and Dornan’s work-related is so solid here, you’re most likely to forget that their accents are so weak.

But alas, it’s a mere glimmer in the eye. Since Shanley at some point reveals the actual reason Anthony and also Rosemary have been apart every these years, sending out the film turn off the rails and also beyond those scenic, winding roads and rolling hills. This item of information is therefore bizarre, it truly place the “wild” in “Wild mountain Thyme.”

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Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has actually written for centregalilee.com because 2013. Prior to that, she to be the film doubter for The linked Press for practically 15 years and co-hosted the general public television series "Ebert gift At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, through Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Check out her answers come our Movie Love Questionnaire here.