movie film review | chris tookey

Local Hero

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  Local Hero Review
Tookey's Rating
9 /10
Average Rating
8.67 /10
Burt Lancaster , Peter Riegert , Denis Lawson
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Directed by: Bill Forsyth
Written by: Bill Forsyth

Released: 1983
Origin: GB
Length: 111

A brash American businessman (Burt Lancaster) wishes to buy a beautiful Scottish island to drill for oil there, and sends a minion called MacIntyre (Peter Riegert, pictured right with Peter Capaldi left) to do the deal.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Odd, eccentric, very charming film full of quirky characters and apparently inconsequential detail. Some may find it too slow and whimsical, and it's not entirely original - influences obviously include Mackendrick's Whiskey Galore and Powell and Pressburger's I Know Where I'm Going. But it has a pictorial and verbal magic all its own.

And Local Hero has a serious point - about how money and power, though eminently attractive, are less important than other, less easily measurable aspects of life. The thing that makes it refreshingly different from a Hollywood film is that the characters are constantly surprising; by the end, it's even impossible to know how MacIntyre is going to behave - so infected has he become by the island he was sent to destroy.

Local Hero thumbs its nose at Thatcherism and Reaganomics, in the most delightful and inoffensive way possible. It's a masterpiece of character-driven comedy.

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