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Plot:

Three intertwined stories of lost and unspoken love and the resulting secrets are presented. In one, which begins in 1941 Branagan, Michigan, twenty-one year old Ethel Ann socializes primarily with three male friends, who are all in love with her. She only loves one, Teddy Gordon, their mutual love known within the group. Her parents would never approve of Teddy, the poor country boy, who is building a house for her eventually to be able to show her parents that he is worth something in his love for her. Their relationship is interrupted by the U.S. entry into the war, into which all three men are going into battle. Before their departure, the three men enter into a pact unbeknownst to Ethel Ann. In two, which also takes place in Branagan, but in 1991, World War II U.S. Army Air Forces veteran, septuagenarian Chuck Harris, after an illness, has just passed away. Those that knew him always considered him the reliable one. His death leaves a void in his family, as there has always been a distance between his wife and their daughter, Ethel Ann and Marie, respectively. Marie is perturbed that her mother doesn’t seem to be mourning Chuck’s death. Another of the mourners is Chuck and Ethel Ann’s longtime friend, Jack Etty, also a World War II U.S. Army Air Forces veteran. Although Jack has never said so to them, Jack’s son, Peter, and Marie believe that Jack has also had a thing for Ethel Ann. The longer the time passes, the closer Marie comes to abandoning her mother, their relationship which may change if only Ethel Ann and Jack would open up about their feelings holistically. And in three, which also takes place in 1991, an innocent young man named Jimmy Riley, a military buff who lives with his grandmother in Belfast, has joined eccentric old Mr. Quinlan to dig on Black Mountain on the outskirts of the city, the side of the hill known as a World War II fighter plane crash site. Although Jimmy and Mr. Quinlan have dug up bits and pieces of the plane, Jimmy ultimately discovers an engraved ring. Partly on Mr. Quinlan’s urging, Jimmy is determined to return the ring to who he believes is its rightful owner. Their digging, however, gets them inadvertently involved in the on-going Northern Ireland conflict, the hill which both sides use for some of their clandestine activities.

Also Known As: Cerrando el círculo, Žiedo istorija, O Elo do Amor, Povestea unui inel, War and Destiny, Closing the Ring, Замыкая круг, Richard Attenborough's Closing the Ring, Kayıp yüzük, Znak milosci, L'amour à jamais, Um Amor para Toda a Vida, Ο Κύκλος Εκλεισε, Körbe zárva, A szerelem gyűrűje, Rakkauden sinetti, O kyklos ekleise, Closing the Ring - Geheimnis der Vergangenheit, Да затвориш кръга

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  • lara-bukvic
    lara bukvic

    This was the last film to be directed by Lord Sir Richard Attenborough (A Bridge Too Far, Ghandi, In Love and War), with a good cast and a reasonable rating by critics, I was willing to give it a try. Basically the films opens with the funeral of a World War II veteran in 1991, other veterans who knew the man watch his daughter Marie (Neve Campbell) deliver a eulogy, while her mother Ethel Ann (Shirley MacLaine) sits outside the church for a smoke and to nurse a hangover. Ethel Ann is acting strangely, her friend Jack (Christopher Plummer) is the only one who understands why, it emerges that there are a few things Marie does not know about her mother’s past, in particular the truth about her love life. The story flashes back in time to when young Ethel Ann (Mischa Barton) was lively and optimistic, she falls in love with young farmer Teddy Gordon (Arrow’s Stephen Amell), but he goes off to fight in the Second World War, along with his friends Jack (Small Soldiers’ Gregory Smith) and Chuck (David Alpay), but not all of them survive. While continuing to flash back in time, in the present day, a young Ulster nationalist Jimmy (Martin McCann) in Belfast finds a ring in the wreckage of a crashed B-17, he is determined to return it to the woman who once owned it, this eventually leads him to Michigan, after he finds out that this woman is Ethel Ann. She reveals a wall that Jack and Chuck boarded up for her back in 1944, it is covered in souvenirs of Teddy, Marie is shocked and angered that her mother was in love with Teddy, not her father Chuck. Ethel Ann travels with Jimmy to Belfast, friend Michael Quinlan (Pete Postlethwaite) finally confesses to her that was he was on the hill when Teddy died, and that his words freed Ethel Ann from her promise to love him forever, he allowed her to make her own choice. Qunilan is tearful telling Ethel Ann he spent 50 years looking for the ring that was lost in the final blast that killed Teddy, and regrets never informing Ethel of Teddy’s dying words. Jack joins Ethel Ann in Belfast, he finally admits that he has always loved her, Ethel Ann is finally able to cry and properly grieve, they share a hug, it is implied that this may be the beginning of a romance. Also starring Brenda Fricker as Eleanor Reilly and John Travers as Young Quinlan. MacLaine does fairly well as the older woman, but it is indeed Barton that is more likable as the younger version, Campbell is a little too moral, and the supporting actors are fine in the roles, it is a simple enough story, a secret love story discovered through a simple object, a ring, it is corny and full of sentimentality, but there are parts that you keep you just about engaged, overall not a bad romantic drama. Worth watching, at least once!

  • john-blankenship
    john blankenship

    Strange film that seems to heroize idiocracy. The main character (played by Mischa Barton) stays with the same man for 50 years unhappy while fantasizing about a dead guy she hooked up with once. The story was strange, and it followed three separate storylines which seemed somewhat unnecessary.

  • isabela-azevedo
    isabela azevedo

    Closing the Ring opens in a small Michigan town in 1991 with the funeral of a World War II veteran. The dearly departed man’s daughter delivers a poignant eulogy to a church full of veterans. It is obvious that this man was rather beloved. But curiously the wife of the deceased seems not at all interested in the proceedings. She’s not even in the church, rather sitting outside smoking a cigarette. When offered condolences she acknowledges that her husband was a good man. But she says she won’t miss him. She appears to be not the slightest bit bereaved, content to sit there and wait for them to wheel her dead husband out. Obviously there is something going on here that we’re not aware of. And we spend the rest of the film jumping back and forth across fifty years of time and across an ocean as long-buried secrets are revealed and everything becomes clear.The newly widowed woman we meet in the opening scene is Ethel Ann. And after the funeral we are transported back to a much happier time. It’s 1941 and young Ethel Ann is in love with a young farmer named Teddy. Complicating matters is the fact that Teddy’s not the only one who loves the beautiful, vibrant Ethel Ann. His two close friends Jack and Chuck have a thing for her as well. But she’s Teddy’s girl. Everybody knows that, everybody accepts that. So Teddy and Ethel Ann should be destined to live happily ever after. But Teddy, Jack and Chuck will soon be going off to war. And lives will be changed. We begin to understand how the young Ethel Ann, so full of life, could become the old Ethel Ann, utterly defeated by life, whom we saw in the film’s beginning.The story constantly jumps back and forth in time from the 1940s to 1991. And it also jumps back and forth between Michigan and Northern Ireland. It is in Belfast in 1991, set against the backdrop of the IRA blowing things up, where the second key strand of the plot unfolds. An old man named Quinlan and a naive young teen named Jimmy dig up the wreckage of a B-17 which crashed there decades ago during the war. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Teddy/Ethel Ann story and the Quinlan/Jimmy story are somehow intertwined. With all the skipping around in time and place the movie does have a bit of a challenge sustaining its momentum. It’s a movie of fits and starts. But ultimately it works.The movie is helped by a generally excellent cast. Shirley MacLaine, playing the older version of Ethel Ann, and Christopher Plummer, portraying the one character who knows Ethel Ann’s secrets, are nominally the leads and they’re quite good in their roles. But it’s really more of an ensemble piece. Mischa Barton as the young Ethel Ann makes a very good impression. Neve Campbell as Ethel Ann’s daughter and Pete Postlethwaite as old Quinlan are good as well. And Martin McCann captures Jimmy’s wide-eyed naiveté perfectly. Stephen Amell seems a little forced and unnatural in playing the young Teddy but that’s the only minor quibble with the cast.The story is a good one, very sentimental and told in a unique way. You get the sense the movie would benefit from a second viewing. Once you have all the times and places sorted out in your head you could probably appreciate the story even more. As it is, on a first run through, the story is a little confusing at times. There’s a lot going on, at times maybe a little bit too much. Did we really need the IRA storyline for example? In the end I guess that plot point serves its purpose in helping the story to get itself to the finish line. But along the way it slows things down and adds another layer of confusion to the mix. In the end though all’s well that ends well. Everything does finally come together well enough to make this an ultimately satisfying movie, an overlooked little gem.

  • franc-mlinaric
    franc mlinaric

    Last film maker Sir Richard Attenborough English major works such as Gandhi and bridge the distance and won two Oscars in 87 years still Namely making a film about a love square.? Film, went back (Flashback) 4 love relationship, including three sons and a daughter at the time of World War II narrative that Boys are sent to war and romance one of them with Ethel Ann (Mischa Barton) will lead to strange incidents. Movie film full of emotional moments, especially with the game is excellent cast includes Shirley MacLaine with her lovely Tiny eyes that still after 75 years, the camera itself is fascinating or play Mischa Barton at all, 22 young boys and does not seem quite the movie after this game and love relationship – emotional 4-player come on. Lord Richard Attenborough with mastery and skill of the Irish World War II is rebuilding While well-being and sense of passion and love to 50 years Present during and after the move. I’m no pro, but his film making style I love this movie.

  • stanislaus-gotthard-b-sc
    stanislaus gotthard b sc

    First of all, this didn’t deserve the straight to DVD treatment it received for the U.S. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s an experience that should have been seen on the big screen. No, it’s not action packed, but it’s beautiful to watch. It’s a romance with dimensions that work very well, and oddly enough I wasn’t one step ahead of it the whole way through. Some elements are always a bit predictable for a film like this, but I wasn’t always entirely sure where it was heading next. This could have gotten a solid score of 10 had it not been for several severe flaws. The biggest of which is the actor playing Teddy. Now imagine The Notebook if Ryan Gosling was an awful actor, it would have destroyed the movie. Luckily, as important as the Teddy character is, he’s not in a massive part of the film, and it’s easy to imagine what the character should have been, and believe the key romance behind the film. Mischa worked for me for the most part, although she had a majority of her scenes with the lifeless Teddy character. McClain and Plummer were amazing as they usually always are. Campbell did a believable effort as the daughter lost behind all the secrets, and I loved the actors who played the young friends of Teddy. Lastly, in the end we are treated with one of the most beautiful film songs in years. Watch the credits, you’ll here the amazing Lost Without Your Love, which will complete your experience with this flawed but wonderful film.

  • made-rudzitis
    made rudzitis

    I enjoyed this one quite a bit, set in two time zones and countries with a more than decent cast. There’s mystery, a heartbreaking romance, and an exciting (yet convenient) conclusion in Ireland.The story flips fairly seamlessly between 1991 and 1943, starting with the passing of World War II veteran Chuck Harris. His wife (Shirley MacLaine) refuses to grieve, numbing herself with alcohol and lashing out at her daughter (Neve Campbell) and lifelong friend (Christopher Plummer).Through a series of flashbacks where Shirley becomes (Mischa Barton), we learn that Chuck wasn’t her first love and that her heart belonged to Teddy (Stephen Amell) who never returned from WW2. We also see Belfast in 1991 where (Pete Postlethwaite) – love him and young Jimmy are digging on a mountainside finding bits of pieces from a downed B-17 bomber, eventually they discover a ring inscribed from Teddy to Ethel and after tracking down its history a mystery nearly five decades in the making slowly comes into focus.The story is very good story but a bit all over the place where the characters emotions are concerned, which are over the top at times and mean without reason. Shirley is especially nasty to her daughter but even Plummer has his moments.The acting was fantastic though, the flashbacks well done, I was surprised to see Stephen Amell’s ‘Arrow’ in an early role. The story in Ireland was more involved than I thought it would be including gangsters and IRA bombings. I enjoyed Martin McCann as young Jimmy and the inclusion of the hawk to tie it all together. Sad. 11/8/15

  • heosumin
    heosumin

    This wasn’t a successful movie at all. A love story aimed at an older audience, the kind of movie watchers preferring exposition to explosions. It can be defined a quality World War II drama that deserves to be more just another TV broadcast. The promise is the kind that might seem overly melodramatic if heard in a movie set in contemporary times but it is at home with the wartime realities so effectively rendered in Closing the Ring. Attenborough is a past master at this type of drama and shifts a lot between the decades, avoiding the confusion so common to non-linear films like this. The resemblance between the younger and older actors isn’t striking, but their performances make this a minor issue.

  • kai-eskelinen
    kai eskelinen

    a love story. or only a war story. in fact, both. not as two parts of a single story but as mixed sides. because its virtue is to be an old fashion story. comfortable in a specific way. seductive in each aspect. it is one of films who gives the flavor and the colors of a world. in delicate and touching manner. one of many stories about her and him, about the other, about the unexpected event and about the truth as a fragile building, after decades. and this does “Closing the Ring” more than a Hallmark film. but a sort o rediscover of personal memories about similar facts and meets and decisions.

  • julio-gimenez-sosa
    julio gimenez sosa

    I don’t usually like movies or books that go back and forth constantly between the past and the present. I’m usually frustrated, lamenting over the lost art of a linear storyline. I’m glad I stuck it out and watched Closing the Ring; it was very entertaining.The film starts at Shirley MacLaine’s husband’s funeral. Christopher Plummer sits outside with her during the service. Then, a flash to the past, with a young Shirley MacLaine surrounded by three adoring servicemen about to be shipped off to WW2. Which one is young Christopher Plummer? Which one is her husband? As the film continues, more mysteries are introduced. Neve Campbell can’t understand her mother’s attitude after her father’s death. And in Ireland, Pete Postlethwaite is digging in a dangerous area, finding pieces of a wrecked WW2 airplane. Each flashback to the 1940s gives just one more piece to the ever-growing puzzle, and it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. I kept pressing pause when I rented this movie with my mom to talk about what I thought would be revealed. Sometimes I was right, sometimes I was wrong, and that made the plot even more entertaining.Probably because one of the first movies I remember seeing Christopher Plummer in was The Lakehouse, I never found him to be a very likable guy. He was so convincingly cold, I had a hard time seeing him as anything else. However, in Closing the Ring, Christopher Plummer gives a very different performance. I’m going to have to rethink my impression of him. In one scene, he burst into tears so naturally, I wanted to reach through the screen and embrace him in a tight hug.While the younger actors in the movie aren’t going to be nominated for Oscars anytime soon, the older folks make up for it. Shirley MacLaine looks beautiful, so if you’re one of her fans, don’t miss this one! And if you like WW2 movies, or movies that flash back and forth with a little mystery, you’ll love it.

  • dora-markovic
    dora markovic

    Wonderful movie with absolutely brilliant actors and very realistic settings. A must to add to anyone’s DVD library. It is a typical Richard Attenborough movie with great attention to detail and accuracy similar to his excellent movie ‘A Bridge To Far’. In a number of ways this movie is identical to the 1950s movie ‘The Key’ starring William Holden, Sofia Loren, Trevor Howard and Bernard Miles and a very young Michael Caine. Instead of aircrew and aircrafts in WW2, it was Royal Navy ocean going rescue tugs and naval reserve officers in the Atlantic in WW2. And the woman (Sofia Loren) being passed from one lover to the next. Instead of a ring it was the key to her flat.

  • steve-bond
    steve bond

    Superb acting, phenomenal directing – I was hooked from the very start of the film. Cannot wait for it to come out on DVD as I will watch it over and over again!! You can actually “feel” the love involved with all of the young friends, the support they give to each other is second to none. I would hope to have at least one friend who could make me feel the same way.Neve Campbell is a very versatile actress. She is such a believable “girl next door”. You feel you could meet up with her and just chat to her as a person. She is a very emotive person, no matter how much a part she has, you want her to become the “winner”.Shirley MacLaine is, as usual, such a powerful actress and Christopher Plummer is one of my all time favorites. The mix of actors/actresses has really been considered. It felt like I was watching a documentary (meant in the best possible way)as I could have been a fly on the wall participating in the storyline.Evren Buyruk from USA

  • alekseeva-raisa-zhdanovna
    alekseeva raisa zhdanovna

    This film is about an old man digging up fragments of planes from World War II, thereby uncovering some heartbreaking secrets.”Closing The Ring” is probably about as unconventional as you can get, as it concentrates on the relationship among older people, characters with a thick Irish accent and setting against a backdrop of terrorist attacks. Maybe it is this unusual combination that makes the film interesting.The film recounts past regrets, unfulfilled promises and entangled relationships. The complicated plot weaving the past and present is well presented. Characters are developed well, drawing me to their experiences, making me feel the way they do. However, this Teddy guy is seriously miscast. He is so wooden and passionless. Even Mischa Barton seems Oscar worthy compared to him.”Closing The Ring” is an engaging romantic drama. It is worth a watch.

  • anna-prieto
    anna prieto

    I’d never heard of this movie and, judging from the number of votes and comments it has received, not many other people have either – which is something of a surprise when you consider the cast and director. But then again, when you consider the lazy – and overly-convoluted – nature of the old-fashioned storyline, perhaps the reason nobody has heard of it is that the makers let it go with as little fuss as possible – the way you would a family relative with no chance of waking from a machine-maintained coma.The film flashes back and forth between the 1940s and the early 90s. Director Attenborough misses no opportunity to demonstrate the inescapable ties of fate that connect the present and the past: doorbells ringing in 1991 and being answered in 1943, that kind of thing. It’s a neat enough trick when performed once in a film, but when its done a dozen or more times it just grows tiresome, like a teacher who only knows how to teach by repeating the same learning phrase ad nauseum until it sinks in with even the thickest member of his class. The mystery of why Shirley Maclaine’s Ethel-Ann acts so strangely after the death of her long-time husband unfolds so slowly that you lose interest long before its ultimate resolution. Too many characters start coming across as too self-pitying and self-indulgent, while others, such as Martin McCann’s Jimmy Reilly, simply aren’t interesting enough too hold our attention.In the end writer Peter Woodward struggles to close the ring without straining credibility, and simply leaves you wondering why you spent so long awaiting an outcome you half-suspected was on the horizon anyway. Undemanding women viewers looking for an old-fashioned, Mills and Boon romance reminiscent of the weepy melodramas of the 50s may find some pleasure in it, but others will be left disappointed

  • antti-rajala
    antti rajala

    The year is 1991.A world war veteran has died.Then some secrets of the past are revealed.Ethel Ann, the wife of the deceased, never loved his husband.He loved somebody else during the war time.In Ireland a ring is discovered.Richard Attenborough, 87, is the director and producer of Closing the Ring.This is the last movie Attenborough has made.It will probably remain his last, since he’s not in the best of shape, according to his brother, Sir David Attenborough.There is a very nice cast in this movie.Shirley MacLaine portrays Ethel Ann.Mischa Barton is her younger version.Neve Campbell plays the daughter Marie.Christopher Plummer plays Jack.His younger version is played by Gregory Smith.Stephen Amell is Teddy Gordon.Brenda Fricker is Grandma Reilly.Martin McCann is Jimmy Reilly.Pete Postlethwaite, who we sadly lost to cancer on January at 64, plays Michael Quinlan.John Travers is the young Michael.David Alpay plays Chuck.This may not be the best of the director, but it has its moments.The drama plays pretty well.So it’s a movie worth seeing by Richard Attenborough.

  • migle-zukauskas
    migle zukauskas

    Superb acting, phenomenal directing – I was hooked from the very start of the film. Cannot wait for it to come out on DVD as I will watch it over and over again!! You can actually “feel” the love involved with all of the young friends, the support they give to each other is second to none. I would hope to have at least one friend who could make me feel the same way.Neve Campbell is a very versatile actress. She is such a believable “girl next door”. You feel you could meet up with her and just chat to her as a person. She is a very emotive person, no matter how much a part she has, you want her to become the “winner”. Shirley MacLaine is, as usual, such a powerful actress and Christopher Plummer is one of my all time favourites. The mix of actors/actresses has really been considered. It felt like I was watching a documentary (meant in the best possible way)as I could have been a fly on the wall participating in the storyline.

  • christopher-kennedy
    christopher kennedy

    Great filmmakers usually end their careers on a sour note and this is no exception; barring some inept future use of British lottery money it is unlikely that the knight Sir Richard (nay, call me LORD Richard) will get another 15 million pounds or so to blow again.Pick your favorite: Henry Hathaway bowed out with SUPER DUDE (a blaxploitation film I had the privilege of viewing in Cleveland on a double bill at the Scrumpy Dump Theater (!) some 35 years ago; Billy Wilder ended with BUDDY BUDDY; William Wyler had THE LIBERATION OF L.B. JONES (on paper a step up from SUPER DUDE, but not by all that much); Frank Capra with POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES which he really hated, per his autobiography; Stanley Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT (hardly up to his high standards); Otto Preminger had THE HUMAN FACTOR, which I (alone?) liked (I’ve been a rabid Nicol Williamson fan since seeing him at Stratford as one of the greatest Macbeths, opposite Helen Mirren) and which costarred Attenborough. Even Michael Powell, apart from a look-back docu, culminated his career with an innocuous but hardly impressive Children’s Film Foundation effort THE BOY WHO TURNED YELLOW, which I watched once at MoMA for completeness. There are obvious exceptions: Joe Mankiewicz bowed out with SLEUTH, an estimable movie and David Lean’s A PASSAGE TO India was a winner.Per the particularly self-serving (and useless) “making of” featurette on the DVD release titled “Love, Loss & Life”, CLOSING THE RING is the folly of several producers who fell in love with a first-timer’s screenplay based on the actual finding of an old wedding ring in the Irish hills. The flimsy, yet convoluted, script got funding and, per the interviews, bowled over Attenborough, too. How audience members react, limited to video fans in the U.S. where the Weinsteins thought better of wasting money on a theatrical release, is an individual matter, but the tired blood on screen here is frankly an embarrassment.Some cinematic lions, notably Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, as well as from a more recent generation Brenda Fricker and Pete Postlethwaite, are matched against some young talent, but the performances are uniformly poor. Having seen all of Attenborough’s theatrical releases in first-run I concede he is capable of very good (Gandhi) but when he is bad, he turns out execrable material, notably the insulting A CHORUS LINE adaptation. I enjoyed YOUNG WINSTON, but then again I liked NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA by Schaffner back then too -pageantry is easy to take. But when Richard tried a genre film MAGIC for Joseph E. Levine, after making A BRIDGE TOO FAR for that once-famous showman, mediocrity ruled -about 10 steps below no-budget maestro Lindsay Shonteff’s DEVIL DOLL. Despite the filmmakers’ protests of how moving and inspirational this love story hit them, on the screen it is flat and dull. The young cast, led by Mischa Barton, gives paper-thin performances, and the attempt by Attenborough “to be hip” by having Barton nude a couple of times is beneath contempt. That’s as old a ploy as THE YELLOW TEDDY BEARS, a well-meaning (and boring) British exploitation film from 1964 for which I saw a vintage U.S. coming attraction just this past weekend (resuscitated by Something Weird Video) in which extraneous nude scenes were added to release it stateside as GUTTER GIRLS. Now I might accuse the Weinsteins of such ploys, but for Richard to stoop that low -wow!The back and forth plotting from 1941 (actually 1944 it turns out in the narrative later) and 1991 to shoehorn in the Irish Troubles is undigested screen writing of the worst order. Connections between the two are lame and all the “maybe” and suggestive material goes nowhere. For example, strident Neve Campbell (a performance worse even than her terrible effort in the Alan Rudolph dud about sex INTIMATE AFFAIRS) as Shirley’s grown up daughter creates wonderment as to “who’s her daddy” but it turns out to be strictly a red herring, time-wise. Ditto casting Fricker of all people as the old-age version of a W.W. II “tart” who slept with all the Yanks -this hook is dangled for the viewer and left unresolved. Postlethwaite is perhaps the best performer in this one, but his role is 100% functional, designed for a big “reveal” only.I’ve never seen MacLaine so disinterested (and uninteresting) in a movie- she looks like she’s playing under protest. The character of a woman who had basically three beaux but wasted her life attached to the dead one is admittedly unplayable but she doesn’t even try. Plummer has more energy, perhaps he alone was given Geritol on the set, but this is a thankless assignment as the “good buddy” who never got the girl. The debuting young Irish thesp Martin McCann is insufferably cheery in what turns out to be the lead role, the boy who found “the ring”. Closeups and other emphasis on the object make one think we are living in the shadow of Tolkien, but needless to say this totem is of zero importance.CLOSING THE RING is so bad one is reminded of the late Frank Perry’s disastrously soapy MOMMIE DEAREST and MONSIGNOR, for which a wonderful director ended up being the butt of catcalls from Midnight Movie audiences. Unfortunately, its plotting is too dull and execution too mediocre for this lame RING to end up with any such afterlife, avoiding even the pitiful fate of having Hedda Lettuce lead camp followers in weekly derision at my local Chelsea (NY division, not England) cinema.

  • mateo-matas
    mateo matas

    Closing The Ring has been lambasted by reviewers as too sentimental and mawkish, but those viewers who are past 40 or 50 will recall a more innocent time in movie theaters when great stories were told and films weren’t always designed around specific actors and actresses with on cue special effects and computer generated images. Closing The Ring is such a film. It’s based on a true story, which I recall reading in the newspaper some years ago. The star of the film is not the actors and actresses who people the film and play the parts. It’s the story. Shifting time, loyalties, and dreams lost and found form the core of the film with second chances in life thrown in for good measure. While the screenplay is not always up to muster, it covers the necessary ground for the most part, and for some viewers, it will be a throwback to what was once known as good old fashioned entertainment.Lord Attenborough has made several better films than Closing The Ring, but few of them have the charm and nostalgia of this one. Mischa Barton is the young lady promised to a soldier who never returns from the war, which is why any viewer who lived through any war years and lost someone dear will identify with the film. Shirley MacLaine is the older Ethel Ann version of the Mischa Barton character, and Christopher Plummer is the older character version of Jack, who has carried a buried torch for Ethel Ann all these years. Just as interesting is the subplot with Pete Postlethwaite as a grown man who is unwillingly faced with exercising his demons. Martin McCann as the young, persistent optimist Jimmy is a scene stealer in the film; he is like a match lighting the torch of healing and carrying it with him where e’er he goes. With healing comes pain and truth. This is Lord Attenborough’s last film to date. *** of 4 stars.

  • hynek-benes
    hynek benes

    The film opens in 1991, with the funeral of a former World War II veteran. The man’s daughter Marie (Neve Campbell) delivers the eulogy to a church full of veterans who knew and loved her father, while her mother Ethel Ann (Shirley MacLaine) is sitting out on the church porch, smoking and nursing a hangover. When Ethel Ann begins acting strangely, only her friend Jack (Christopher Plummer) seems to understand why. It quickly emerges that there is a lot Marie does not know about her mother’s past and the true story of her love life.The movie flips to a time when this mother was young, lively, and optimistic (young Ethel Ann played by Mischa Barton). She is in love with a young farmer, Teddy Gordon (played by Canadian new comer Stephen Amell), who goes off to war with his best friends Jack (Gregory Smith) and Chuck (David Alpay), but not all of them make it back alive. The plot lines intertwine with the story of a young Ulsterman in Belfast who finds a ring in the wreckage of a crashed B-17 and is determined to return it to the woman who once owned it.Closing the Ring got a lot of mixed reviews when it came out in England in Early 2008. But as a fan of a lot of the actors and director I wanted to see the film (usually not into Romance movies), and tried to keep up with updates on the a films release in Canada. Luckily for me while I was in Toronto, this film was released in theaters with little promotion beforehand, with the expect ion of ET playing a 30 second clip. I decided it was fate for me to see this movie, as it was the only place in Canada where it was playing.I went with my family and we all enjoyed it. The film did have flaws, a sub plot involving the IRA confused the already busy plot, and Stephaen Arnell who played the gorgeous Mischa Barton’s love interest gave a WEAK performance. Usually when an actor gives a bad performance it can ruin a movie, especially with a role as important as his, and surprisingly Barton is able to still act off of him.Shirley MacClaine, Christopher Plummer, and Neve Campbell all work well of each other in their scenes. While scene stealer’s Academy Award Winner Brenda Fricker and unknown actor Martin McCann light up the screen when they were on. Pete Postlethwaite was also very good as the grumpy Irishman Quinlan, but just like the IRA plot, scenes with the young version of him were unesscsesary. Gregory Smith is good and David Alphy does what he can with his nothing role. But the heart of the film is really Mischa Barton. SHe is just adorable, and as a fan of her earlier films (she was also stiff in her TV work), it was nice see her give a great performance, because people have labeled her a bad actress just because of “The OC” and it is too bad the film didn’t get a wider release because this is her breakout role, she is wonderful.All in all, a light film with nice performances and a great score. Great for older and younger audiences. Why did it not get a wide release!?

  • hanna-peeters
    hanna peeters

    I must hand it to Lord Attenborough who is attempting a chick flick to keep up with the times. Can anyone else attract the level of talent in the film: Christopher Plummer, Shirley Maclaine, Neve Campbell, Mischa Barton? The story has great promise. It opens with the funeral of a young woman’s beloved daughter who is delivering her eulogy to a church full of veterans who knew and loved her father. Her mother, on the other hand, is sitting out on the church porch, smoking and nursing a hangover.What develops from this story shows us a time when this mother was young, lively, and optimistic. She is in love with a young farmer who must go off to war. They always go out with two friends who are the best buds a guy could have.The movie is also interspersed with a story that takes place in Belfast. You know that at some point, the film will have to knit these two elements together. There are numerous light moments to offset the darker experiences of love and loss during war. Ethel Ann (Maclaine)has loved well and was always loved but she is too self-involved to understand that she has used her own tragedies to punctuate her relationship with her daughter (Campbell).Some of the younger actors in this are Canadian talent. I hope that this film gives them the exposure that they need to continue making their way up the talent ladder. David Alpay from Slings and Arrows is terrific as is Allan Hawco. I wanted to see more of them and less of Mischa Barton whose acting is wooden at the best of times.At the Toronto Film Festival screening yesterday, the projector had a hiccup during the sow. Stephen Amell who plays Teddy got onto the stage and had an impromptu Q&A to save the day. It was fascinating to hear how he was cast and what kind of experience an actor has when they work with Richard Attenborough.

  • tammy-adkins
    tammy adkins

    I had never heard of this film because it was never released in the U.S. I happened to see it in a DVD catalog and the story and cast interested me and I got it from my neighborhood library. Having lived through the WWII era, my wife and I really enjoyed this film. We thought the cast were uniformly good and perfectly presented the contrast between the 1940’s and the 1990’s. How the world has changed in fifty years. Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer are two old pros who I am confident were a revelation to the younger cast members. Watching a DVD such as this in the comfort of your home is such a pleasure compared to going to a theatre to see most of garbage that passes for movies today. We would like to thank Richard Attenborough for bringing this moving story of another time to the screen. The theme of this film can be demonstrated by the lyrics of a very popular WWII song titled, “I’ll Be Seeing You.” They don’t make films or write songs like that anymore.

  • pavla-nemcova
    pavla nemcova

    First of all, this didn’t deserve the straight to DVD treatment it received for the U.S. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s an experience that should have been seen on the big screen. No, it’s not action packed, but it’s beautiful to watch. It’s a romance with dimensions that work very well, and oddly enough I wasn’t one step ahead of it the whole way through. Some elements are always a bit predictable for a film like this, but I wasn’t always entirely sure where it was heading next. This could have gotten a solid score of 10 had it not been for several severe flaws. The biggest of which is the actor playing Teddy. Now imagine The Notebook if Ryan Gosling was an awful actor, it would have destroyed the movie. Luckily, as important as the Teddy character is, he’s not in a massive part of the film, and it’s easy to imagine what the character should have been, and believe the key romance behind the film. Mischa worked for me for the most part, although she had a majority of her scenes with the lifeless Teddy character. McClain and Plummer were amazing as they usually always are. Campbell did a believable effort as the daughter lost behind all the secrets, and I loved the actors who played the young friends of Teddy. Lastly, in the end we are treated with one of the most beautiful film songs in years. Watch the credits, you’ll here the amazing Lost Without Your Love, which will complete your experience with this flawed but wonderful film.

  • niketia-mpimpika
    niketia mpimpika

    Richard Attenborough’s ‘Closing The Ring’ has quite an unusual cast. I never thought I’d see Shirley MacClaine, Christopher Plummer, Neve Campbell, Pete Postlethwaite and Mischa Barton in one film. The story feels a little contrived and I thought that Attenborough could have developed parts of the plot. For example, how does Ethel Ann resolve her relationship with her almost estranged daughter? Perhaps, it’s for the viewer to assume that things went well. Nonetheless, I would have liked to see it. The film shifts back and forth from America to Ireland giving us some beautiful landscape shots of both countries. Attenborough does try to tackle different themes next to the main story and portrays the cultural side of both countries very well (especially the cultural difference between the pubs of Ireland and bars of America). The soundtrack is quite likable as it takes us back in time. Mischa Barton surprisingly delivers a decent performance. I’ve never liked her TV work but here she’s not bad. Likewise with Christopher Plummer. Brenda Fricker has a tiny role but her presence is effective. Allan Hawco does well with what he’s given. Pete Postlethwaite is brilliant as usual. Neve Campbell too does a wonderful job. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her work and I liked what I saw. Martin McCann is a delight to watch. He delivers a very natural and humorous performance as Jimmy. ‘Closing The Ring’, in the end, belongs to Shirley MacClaine. Her character is difficult to sympathise with, especially because of her coldness towards her daughter and husband but at the same time her pain and loneliness is felt. Her Ethel Ann finally gets the closure she needed with the ring and, in the end, thanks to MacClaine’s portrayal, one can only feel joy for Ann as she begins to live. On the whole, ‘Closing the Ring’ has an engaging story, fine acting by an unusual ensemble and refreshing visuals (of the landscapes). Perhaps one can take an elderly relative to watch this film but it also makes for a good date movie.

  • nebih-akcay
    nebih akcay

    I saw this movie at the London Film Festival yesterday.It is an incredibly old fashioned piece of film-making that at times seems very contrived and manipulative,but it does contain genuine emotion and a story that keeps you watching from beginning to end.Some of the acting(especially from the 1941 period)is patchy,but in the 1991 period of the film,MacLaine is great,so is Postlewaite but the film is stolen by young Martin McCann as the naive Jimmy Reilly,who is responsible for piecing the lives together of the characters separated by time and oceans.After the showing,Lord Attenborough appeared for a short Q&A and gave us some insight into the making of the film and announced the film will receive it’s premiere in Ireland and will be released nationwide on the 28th Dec.My guess is for anyone who has an elderly relative to catch up with over the Christmas period,and wants to take them out,then see this movie.They will love it and you might possibly get hooked.The audience yesterday obviously were.

  • darren-flores
    darren flores

    The story of love lost to death during the second world war will never be tiresome for anyone whose family was touched by the war. The question is, can writers and actors still make the story real? For those of us in the audience tonight at The Screening Room in Kingston, watching Closing the Ring, the answer was a very satisfying ‘yes’. Young actors were able to create the unselfconscious optimism and sense of honour of their 1940s counterparts heading off to war; the older cast members knew exactly how to portray the knowledge, understanding, and forgiveness that the present-day characters had learnt from their wartime experience, and kept in with such punishing self-control. If you don’t like this film, I suspect you’re under thirty. I’d suggest you prepare to discover its truth, and its very fine acting, in your later age. And be thankful if you’re not on the verge of great loss in your youth. But then our soldiers are fighting and dying overseas as I write; perhaps young Ethel Anns and Teddys are making promises to each other at this very moment. In that case, open yourself to the possibility that this story might be about to unfold in your own life, even as you reject its apparent unreality.

  • thomas-ford
    thomas ford

    Never make promises you can’t fulfill, otherwise you’ll find that nagging feeling coming back to haunt you, and it can be quite uncomfortable, unless of course it doesn’t bother you as far as integrity and trustworthiness are concerned. Then again there’s the living a lie, of not being true to yourself, which sometimes can be tricky when it deals with affairs of the heart, where ignorance may be bliss.Closing the Ring throws its hat into the WWII era inspired romance stories, where boys turn into men, and have to leave their lady love behind at home while they ship off to the warfront. With events that unfold across two different continents, and unfolding between two different timelines with the necessary flash backs, flash forwards, and nicely edited transitions, the movie isn’t that bad although the story might be at times clichéd.Jack (Gregory Smith), Chuck (David Alpay) and Teddy (Stephen Amell) are three buddies who join the air force, and are training to be pilots, navigators and gunners, whatever it takes to bring them to the skies. Mischa Barton stars as young Ethel Ann who’s the flower amongst the group, but only having romantic feelings for Teddy, whom she married in secret before the trio got shipped away to join the war.That’s the arc of the past, where we see how their relationship with one another hold up during mankind’s darkest hour. The arc of the present has Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer take up the senior roles of Ethel Ann and Jack respectively, and on the other side of the continent in Northern Ireland, we follow Michael Quinlan (Pete Postlethwaite) and Jimmy Reilly (Martin McCann), where the latter is a simple minded teen helping the former fireman dig around Black Mountain in search of something of value.I guess by now you can piece together a little bit of what could possibly happen, and added to the fray is the IRA’s struggle for independence in 1991. Characters interact by crossing continents, mysteries and confirmation of what happened during those faithful and pivotal moments in WWII get revealed and explained, and feelings slowly get revealed, demolishing some long held denial and unawareness. Although given what would transpire, you wonder if it’s remotely possible to pine for someone for so long, or to lock away your heart so cruelly that you shut off affections even for your own child.It’s still an enjoyable movie, though not exactly a great one but it does get to its point quickly. You might find yourself being a step ahead of the characters and piece together all the information provided way in advance, but still, if you’d enjoyed movies like Atonement and Evening, then you wouldn’t find this that bad at all. Oh, and the English subtitles did help in deciphering some thick Irish accent.