A deeply moving love story that deftly alternates between eras and continents, CLOSING THE RING makes it debut on DVD January 27 from Genius Products and The Weinstein Company. An adventurous Irishman goes on a quest to find the original owner of a gold ring that once belonged to an American World War II bomber pilot in CLOSING THE RING. Directed by two-time Academy Award winner Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) with a stellar ensemble cast that includes fellow Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine (Terms of Endearment, Rumor Has It), Golden Globe nominee Christopher Plummer (Inside Man, Syriana), Mischa Barton (“The OC”), Gregory Smith (“Everwood”) and Neve Campbell (Scream). CLOSING THE RING tells the multigenerational tale of a dying gunner pilot who gives a ring to a young Belfast man in the hopes that it will one day make its way back to his girlfriend in the States.
Upon first glace Closing The Ring looks to be quite promising. The DVD cover even quotes one reviewer as saying “Romance on an epic scale.” The cast is impressive too including Shirely MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, Neve Campbell, Mischa Barton, and Gregory Smith. So does it live up to its promise? Not exactly.
Closing The Ring tells a story about a recently widowed woman named Ethel Ann (Shirely MacLaine). While clearly hardened and distant from her daughter (Neve Campbell), Ethel Ann has flashbacks to the 1940’s where a younger and softer version of herself (Mischa Barton) seems to be the object of every male’s affections. However, she has had eyes for only one boy, Teddy (Stephen Amell), who soon goes off to war and doesn’t come back. Memories and dreams of a life that could have been if Teddy had lived have haunted Ethel Ann ever since.
Skipping back to present day, a young lad in Belfast named Jimmy finds a ring while digging in the countryside. Jimmy decides to track down the owner, who just happens to be Ethel Ann. When Jimmy arrives in America, bringing with him the ring, all of Ethel Ann’s secrets finally start to surface.
So where’s the problem? Everything set in the modern day is seemingly fine. The problem is in the flashbacks. Stephen Amell is clearly just a pretty face. His acting skills are the male equivalent of Mischa Barton’s role as Marissa from since canceled series The O.C. Barton actually takes things up a notch and gives her most solid performance to date. However, an unnecessary topless scene will probably be what she is remembered more for from this film. It’s great to see Gregory Smith again, and I’m sure the die-hard fans from the canceled series Everwood will agree. He does a fine job here despite the horrific landslide of acting surrounding him.
The uncommitted actors and the jump-around script make the film a bit difficult to enjoy. While the story itself is quite good, its execution could have been substantially better. Perhaps if you can get passed the unrefined talent of Amell and, if you watched The O.C., the constant flashbacks of Barton as Marissa Cooper saying “hey” every few seconds, then you’ll probably enjoy yourself more than than I did.
Review by Emma Loggins
Official site: http://www.closingtheringmovie.co.uk/home.html
Buy on Amazon: Closing The Ring