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James Cosmo and Brid Brennan in My Sailor, My Love (IMDB/Making Movies Oy)

In My Sailor, My Love, a retired sea captain and his daughter must reassess their strained relationship after he begins a new romance with a widowed housekeeper. Source: Australian Catholics.

This is the co-production between Ireland and Finland, but with Irish characters and an Irish setting on the beautiful County Mayo. It is mostly overcast and cloudy on the coast, perhaps symbolic of the lives that the people lead.

At the centre of the film is Howard, an old sea captain (veteran character actor Cosmo). He is full of memories of his days at sea and the sad death of his wife. He is abrupt and sometimes resentful of the care from his daughter, Grace (Walker). He does have two other sons but they turn up only for his birthday. He is gruff, self-contained, but, in some surprising moments, we see him telling fanciful adventure stories to some little girls of the family at the local pub.

His exasperated daughter arranges for a local woman, Annie (Brennan) to come twice a week for housekeeping – and is almost immediately ousted by Howard. Fortunately, Howard comes to his senses and apologises to Annie who let him know how hurt she is.

Annie returns to work for him and we see how Howard mellows (perhaps a bit too dramatically and quickly for the film). It is a joy to see him come alive. Annie hears his story and that of the death of his wife, he hears about her unhappy marriage and her husband’s death. It is a joy to see them sharing so much.

Parallel to this story is Grace’s story. Her marriage is breaking and therapy does not help. She is fired from her work at the hospital. She employs Annie and, perhaps to be expected but regrettably so, her bad reaction to finding the bond between Annie and her father, denouncing her father is a self-centred man in the past, suggesting that he is exploiting Annie.

All of us who have had sadness in the past in our lives will be caught in the emotional crossfire, empathising with one, empathising with another, trying to understand what is going on.

My Sailor, My Love is a film that can be recommended to an older audience with no off-putting violence, sex or coarse language. The film has a PG rating because of mature themes.

My Sailor, My Love: Starring James Cosmo, Brid Brennan, Catherine Walker. Directed by Klaus Haro. 93 minutes. Rated PG (mild themes).


My Sailor, My Love (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)