Saint Ralph (2004)

MICHAEL McGOWAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Canada, 2004.  Alliance Atlantis Communications, Amaze Film + Television, Running Miracles Productions.  Screenplay by Michael McGowan. Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Toronto International Film Festival 2004.  

Adorable tale of determination set in the 1950s, with a sympathetic young man left alone after his war widow mother falls into a coma. Ralph is a plucky dreamer, his mind set on surviving his strict Catholic school existence by training for the Boston marathon and hoping that winning it will be the miracle that will awaken his mother.  is wonderful as the sensitive priest who allows the boy to pursue his goal despite the protestations of the stereotypically opposed school principle (). The film indulges in lots of underdog film cliches, but the protagonist is amiable and the supporting characters all lovable (especially the iron-willed nurse played by Jennifer Tilly, check out the bench-presses!) A winner from start to finish that will melt even the most cynical heart by its conclusion.

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