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Saint Ralph (2004)

Cast: Adam Butcher, Adam Butcher, Campbell Scott, more...
Director: Michael McGowan, Michael McGowan
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Running Time: 98 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A young man with big dreams sets out to do the seemingly impossible in this bittersweet comedy drama. Ralph Walker (Adam Butcher) is a 14-year-old boy growing up in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1954. Ralph is convinced he's cut out to do something remarkable some day, but he hasn't quite decided what, and at the moment he has other things to worry about. Ralph's father has recently died, as have his grandparents, and his mother (Shauna MacDonald) is severely ill and in the hospital, leaving the boy to fend for himself at home. Despite Ralph's tragic circumstances and his attendance at a Catholic school led by strict headmaster Father Fitzpatrick (Gordon Pinsent), the young man maintains a cheeky attitude and often gets on the wrong side of his teachers, and one remarkable display of poor behavior causes Fitzpatrick to sentence Ralph to membership on the school's cross-country team. The team's coach, Father Hibbert (Campbell Scott), discovers Ralph has real talent as a runner, and encourages the boy to train seriously. When doctors inform Ralph that only a miracle can save his mother's life, he strikes upon an idea -- it would be a little short of a miracle for a talented but inexperienced runner like himself to finish first in the Boston Marathon, so Ralph sets his sights on winning the race, certain in his heart that a victory could restore his mother's health. Saint Ralph also features Jennifer Tilly and Tamara Hope. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Rather Typically Canadian by talltale December 23, 2005 - 8:37 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
I often chide American critics for their seemingly automatic dissing of Canadian films, and I have to admit that Michael McGowan's SAINT RALPH is a good example of all they appear to find tired about Canadian art: it's feel-good, it has a fairly preposterous story (which, to its credit, is not claimed to be based on a true one), and it's told in an all-too-typical manner that pushes most of the buttons of the striving-sports, overcoming-your-handicap movie.

Still, the filmmakers do possess grand faith in their project, and eventually this faith rubs off a bit on an even remotely receptive audience. I was charmed and moved in about equal proportions, and since the cast includes Campbell Scott, Jennifer Tilly and Gordon Pinsent, plus the very likeable young lead Adam Butcher, it finally won me over. Yes, yes--it's no great shakes, but I'm glad I watched.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.43)
7 Votes
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