The Run of the Country

on September 22, 1995 by Kim Williamson
   Screened at Toronto. Adapted by Shane Connaughton from his novel, "The Run of the Country" never quite succeeds in the way that Connaughton's "The Playboys" and "My Left Foot" did. The story of a widower Irish policeman (Albert Finney) and his 18-year-old son (Matt Keeslar), who shares some of his father's inborn truculence, never catches fire. The father-son relationship is simply combative, and two important subplots involving the son with an IRA friend (Anthony Brophy) and with an upper-class girl (Victoria Smurfit) -- are only passingly interesting and never ignite emotionally. Early on, Finney's character tells the son, "It's the living who have to resurrect themselves, not the dead," and this Castle Rock production does try to address the rebirth of self and soul, but in the end it just lies there, unLazarus-like.    Starring Albert Finney, Matt Keeslar and Victoria Smurfit. Directed by Peter Yates. Written by Shane Connaughton. Produced by Peter Yates and Ruth Boswell. A Columbia release. Drama. Rated R for a strong sex scene and some language. Running time: 107 min.
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