Jimmy’s Hall is my favorite Ken Loach film. I love the sense of life in the film. I love the characters. I love the feel of the movie. To be honest when I saw it at Tribeca I did so out of obligation more than desire. When it was done it turned out to be one of my favorite films of the festival and 2015. I loved it so much that when Peter Gutierrez recently asked me to go see it again I didn’t really hesitate. While I don’t think the film is perfect, the bad guys are drawn too black and white in a film where everyone is shaded and grey, I do think its one of 2015’s best.
With the film opening Friday here’s my review from Tribeca
Ken Loach's latest film is based on the life of Jimmy Gralton who returns from exile in America and ends up reopening the meeting hall that got him exiled in the first place. Battling the rich and landed as well as the church who view him as a communist, Galton reforges friendships as he runs head long into troubles.
I tend to shy away from Ken Loach films. To my mind he's a filmmaker who makes serious political films that frequently can be dark. While there is no doubt that his films are very good, they are frequently not where I want to go. JIMMY'S HALL, while very political is also a film that's very much alive and not dark.
What I like about the film is that the film is largely a slice of life. Its a film about fighting for the right to think and do what one feels is right. ts a film that is populated with great characters. Even Jim Norton's Father Sheridan, the bane of Gralton's existence, is a nicely drawn character.
This film surprised the hell out of me. It made be sit up and smile and lean in so that I could be a conspirator to getting the hall open.
This may not be the best film ever made, but it is a damn entertaining one.