My Sailor, My Love
James Cosmo (Braveheart, His Dark Materials) stars in Finnish director Klaus Härö’s latest feature, My Sailor, My Love, as Howard, a retired seaman who lives alone in a tired-looking house at the top of a cliff. He sits in his armchair at the start of the film busying himself with a crossword, ignoring the pleasant small talk from his daughter, Grace (Catherine Walker), who’s grown concerned that her father needs some help taking care of himself. She therefore decides to hire Annie (Brooklyn’s Brid Brennan) as a housekeeper. Though Howard and Annie get off to a rocky start, they soon forge a loving connection with one another. However, their new-found love doesn’t sit well with Grace as she struggles with hardships from her past.
In many ways, My Sailor, My Love is a familiar tale of love and companionship. The core plot beats are laid out from the opening scene, with screenwriters Jimmy Karlsson and Krisi Vikman diligently following the well-trodden structure. What makes this film so spectacular, though, is the subtle ways in which the writers approach the touching human story at the core of this film. My Sailor, My Love is ultimately a love story, but it’s also one about forgiveness, companionship and family. It’s a quiet yet profoundly powerful feature, aching in emotional sophistication and depth.
Cosmo and Brennan are divine. The actors share a genuine tender connection as if they’ve known each other for years (when in fact they, alongside the director, only spent a week together prior to shooting). Their natural chemistry taps deep into the drama that engulfs them to heart-wrenching effect. This film enters some sombre territory, some of which from unexpected places, and ensure that audiences feel every second of the love and pain that each character goes through. It’s also a funny movie at times, with these moments further adding to the humanity behind the drama.
Just as wondrous as the cast’s performance is the cinematography. Shot on the breathtaking Irish island of Achill, the rugged and isolated island has a beauty to it that could be seen as an extension of Howard’s character. It’s the perfect backdrop to the intimate story that unfolds there. While the pacing hits a few bumps during the third act, Härö succeeds in telling a deeply moving story of family and love.
My Sailor, My Love is released in select cinemas on 10th March 2023.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2023 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for My Sailor, My Love here: