Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Charm in `the Castle' Is All in the Family

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Charm in `the Castle' Is All in the Family

Article excerpt

By comparison, The Full Monty looks about three-quarters full. Waking Ned Devine? Let him snooze awhile.

Good fun, both of them. But if I have to choose, I'll take The Castle, the pluckiest, funniest underdog movie to come from our English-speaking brethren around the world in a long, long time.

It's a low-budget Australian movie, shot in grainy 16mm film, about the Kerrigan clan, a bunch of misfits blissfully out of step with the darker, more officious side of modern life.

On the surface, The Castle, which is playing at the Carmike Mandarin Cinema 6, is about a family trying to keep its home from being taken for an airport expansion.

But that's just the pretext for a loving depiction of family life -- one so affectionate and irony-free that it feels almost revolutionary.

The Kerrigans are underachievers who live in what most would consider a hovel, located as it is between an airport runway and a landfill. But The Castle, as the saying goes, laughs with them, not at them.

Mum (Anne Tenney) bakes a terrific meat loaf and has embroidered and crocheted anything that sits still for a second. But it's Daryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton), the family's endlessly optimistic patriarch, who's the heart of this brood.

He loves every meal his wife has ever made, and never does one go by without him pointing out how good it is. And he's proud as can be of his children, even the son who's in prison (but who's really sorry about what he's done wrong) and the one who spends all day combing the classifieds for the best deals (he's just found a great deal on an overhead projector).

Oh, and don't get Daryl started on his daughter, who has the family's first advanced degree -- she's a fully certified hairdresser. You can spot her by her hair, which looks like a cresting ocean wave, frozen by a full can of spray.

Most of all, Daryl loves the house where he's raised his family. …

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