Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Emerald Air: The Runway
Irish economy in 1983 was a lot like the Irish economy today. It was not exactly a robust job-creation
engine, not that we would know what that’s like these days either. Yet, when a roguish Colombian crashes lands
in a particularly depressed provincial burg, he ignites an unlikely spark of
hope in Ian Powers’ The Runway (trailer here), which opens in
Scottsdale (of all places) this Friday and is now available on most VOD
platforms from Tribeca Films.
Cordoba is a bit shady and he does not pretend to be otherwise. Fortunately, he has young Paco Thomas
handling his PR. Believing the father he
never met is a Spaniard immigrant now back in his Iberian homeland, Thomas is
the only person in town who speaks Spanish.
He takes a number of liberties with the translations though. As a result, the formerly dispirited
townspeople are inspired to fix the heroic-sounding Cordoba’s plane and fashion
him a suitable runway. This quite confuses
the wayward pilot, who is rather in a hurry to get on with his dodgy mission (that
seems to involve putting emeralds back in the Emerald Isle).
Cordoba ends up staying with Thomas and his mother Grace, who duly pretends she
is not attracted to the man of mystery.
Thomas is definitely looking to plug Cordoba in as a surrogate father,
but he may have to settle for a bittersweet coming-of-age experience.
you suspect you know where Runway is
headed, you’re surely right, every step of the way. Nonetheless, it is all relatively pleasant,
thanks to the leading man charisma of Demián Bechir’s Cordoba and a host of recognizable
salt-of-the-earth Irish character actors, most notably including Game of Thrones’ James Cosmo (technically
Scotts) as Sutherland, a junkshop engineer.
Young actors Jamie Kierans and John Carpenter, Jr., as Thomas and his Traveler
best pal Frogs Connors, respectively, are never too cute or cloying
either. As Grace Thomas, Kerry Condon has
some nice but sparing romantic chemistry with Bechir, as well.
While nowhere near as sharp and clever as John
Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, Runway ought to satisfy fans of quirky tight
little Irish village dramedies like Waking
Ned Devine. Cinematographer P.J.
Dillon gives it all a nice heathery shine and Powers keeps it stepping along
lightly but without undue dawdling. An
easygoing distraction if hardly essential, The
Runway opens tomorrow (7/20) at the Harkins Theatres Shea 14, for the large
Scottsdale Irish and Colombian expatriate communities and is available on-demand
from Tribeca Films.
Labels: Demian Bechir, Irish Cinema