If you have Scottish ancestry, have visited Scotland, heard of Scotland or haven’t even thought about it, then you will like this good ole fashioned feel good true story.
In case you haven’t already guessed, this movie titled “My Life So Far” is based in Scotland, complete with accents, kilts, banter and blether. The only thing lacking and for some of you this will be good news, is the over use of the bagpipes.
The lead role is played by a bairn, we’an or whatever your culture calls a child. But don’t let this put you off. Robbie Norman who I have never heard of before or since does an excellent job of playing Fraser Pettigrew, a kinda cool and snooty boy growing through his hormonally-unbalanced years. His on screen father Edward played by Colin Firth is a loveable and some what useless character who also contributes a notable performance. Irčne Jacob, playing the role of Fraser’s uncle’s fiancée-come wife whose performance can best be described as stereotypically movie French, seemed to slot in easily to her unconventional fun loving and slightly rebellious character. The only player to let down the side was Fraser’s rather flimsy mother Moira, played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Her Scottish accent sounds distinctively North American.
The story pretty much follows the life of Fraser from a baby scaling buildings to an adolescent discovering his sexuality. The movie portrays very well a healthy relationship between an imperfect father and his imperfect son. It clearly depicts Fraser searching for himself and his independent role in life as his father is pushed out from the centre of his universe and replaced by the earthly fruits that the world has to offer.
My favourite scene in the movie would have to be where Edward, whilst walking to church is sent home to look for his son. Upon entering the home he hears the evil voice of Louis Armstrong coming from his lounge room. He quietly enters the room to see his young son listening to this forbidden music supplied by his French aunt, smoking a cigar, drinking what looks like Bailey’s Irish Cream and looking at pornography. Rather than rebuke his already rebelling son he chooses to give him a little space to grow up and quietly leaves the room. Good parenting, bad parenting; your choice.
And my other favourite scene was watching and listening to the cooks blether away whilst plucking chooks. Maybe today Scottish women have given up on plucking chickens but I know for sure your average Scot still definitely hasn’t given up on the wee blether. This scene made me quite homesick for the country that was once my home.
“My Life So Far” is safe to watch with friends and respected company alike. Really it is a pretty safe movie. I rate the movie 5 out of 10 or maybe 6, this would be the nicest Scottish movie that I have seen, but it scores low because it just lacks the angst and depression that seem to create the great story lines that I find synonymous with the high quality of the Scottish film industry.