A quiet, compellingly probing adaptation of Brian Moore's novel about a man's painful growth into self-realisation. Shaw is excellent as the eponymous hero, a blarneying Irish immigrant who comes to the land of opportunity (Canada) convinced that he is the man it has been waiting for. Told of a vacancy as sub-editor on a newspaper, he immediately sees himself as becoming the editor within weeks; offered a good job as assistant to the owner of a diaper-cleaning service, he turns it down as beneath his dignity; and it is only after successive disappointments, when his despairing wife (Ure, equally good) has left him to take a job in order to support their teenage daughter, that Ginger begins to take realistic stock. Kershner's even, penetrating direction makes marvellous use of the Montreal locations, perfectly capturing the weird beauty of the city's mixture of gleaming skyscrapers and tall, old-fashioned houses festooned with iron staircases, all draped under a layer of snow and ice.
Cast and crew