Anyone who's ever been passionate about golf will find something to admire in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
, a staidly reverent biopic about one of the game's greatest champions. In the title role, Jim Caviezel suffers almost as much as he did in The Passion of the Christ
, portraying Jones--who made history by winning golf's elusive Grand Slam (four top tournaments in less than four months) in 1930--as a passionately committed golfer who silently endured chronic pain (a spinal disorder prompted his early retirement at age 28), stomach ailments, emotional torment, and borderline alcoholism while maintaining amateur status in the sport he so magnificently dominated. Jeremy Northam brings much-needed levity and rakish style as Jones's friend and rival golfer Walter Hagen, and Malcolm McDowell adds colourful character as Jones's friend and biographer O.B. Keeler while Claire Forlani suffers the typical biopic plight of the hero's wife, who offers compassion! ate empathy while wishing Jones had more time for family. With its repetitive golf scenes and a sombre tone of martyrdom, Bobby Jones
was partially financed by Jones's estate, which may explain its respectable dullness and instant fate as a box-office dud. Still, director Rowdy (Road House) Herrington is clearly enamoured of his subject, and some of that enthusiasm shines through the gloom. --Jeff Shannon
Touching drama based on a true story. Jim Caviezel plays Bobby Jones, the talented but temperamental golfer who took the professional golf tour by storm in the mid 1920s. Claire Forlani plays his wife Mary Malone Jones, who raises their children and balances his life out of the spotlight of public scrutiny and pressure that his golf career demands.