TIFF22: ‘My Sailor, My Love’ Review: A Quietly Brilliant Look at Last Loves

If you’re looking for an enthralling romance set against the gorgeous West Coast of Ireland, My Sailor, My Love might just be for you. Stunning performances and captivating scenery bring the entire story together in a brilliant way. In a world captivated my romantic stories, mostly revolving around anyone under 30, it’s necessary to have stories about finding love and connection at any age. If you love any story that makes full use of ocean/sea/water imagery, My Sailor, My Love should be next on your to-be watched list

My Sailor, My Love tells the story of a former sea captain, Howard (James Cosmo), who is fiercely independent, in spite of his daughter Grace’s (Catherine Walker) insistence that he receives help in his twilight years. Grace hires a housekeeper Annie (Brid Brennan) to aid her father while he insists on remaining in his own home. From here, a story of love and family unfolds in an equally devastating and life-affirming way.

James Cosmo is in his element in this movie. In his long and storied career, My Sailor, My Love is a brilliant highlight. This project truly showcases his talent, and he is the undisputed heart and soul of this story from beginning to end. Even at his least sympathetic, one can’t help but feel for him deeply. Cosmo brings so much empathy and compassion to a character who has suffered a lifetime of grief and loss. Even in his crustiest and most bitter moments, Howard is nothing less than absolutely lovable. 

Howard’s journey wouldn’t be possible without the love and support of Annie and Grace. Not only are they both the brains behind the operation to let Howard live his best life. They each care so deeply for him even when he isn’t particularly grateful or reciprocating. Annie paints a picture of quiet strength and dignity that’s heartbreaking to watch in every scene. This character deserves the entire world. Her spirit is sweet and unbreakable, and we should all be so fortunate to follow the example of such a strong woman. 

Through Grace, viewers are invited to consider the immense pressure adult children are under to care for their aging parents. This is something not discussed nearly enough in our society, as daughters in particular are expected to be ever-present for parents, regardless of their relationship. It’s hardly a wonder that between grieving loss and existing in a chaotic marriage, her mental health is less than optimal. It is too bad we didn’t see more of Grace, since there was clearly so much that was compelling about her mental health journey. 

My Sailor, My Love is a commentary on nature of age and family. It’s clear that family wounds are not so easily mended, even with the best of intentions. It’s a hard truth, but an important one. Aging does not magically absolve one of causing harm to their children (or anyone else for that matter). Getting a second chance to repair relationships is a rare gifts. Families can break apart and come back together at any age. It is the dual privilege and peril of human relationships. 

Finally, in a world obsessed with first loves, this movie is proof that stories of last loves can be just as poignant. Love knows no age limit, and those above a certain age deserve to be represented on-screen in their romantic exploits. The desire for love and connection never expires. Cosmo and Brennan are perfect to represent the romantic journey between two people with an entire lifetime of experience. 

My Sailor, My Love is stunningly beautiful from beginning to end. Filled with enthralling performances and gorgeous landscapes, this movie will fly by. Viewers are sure to be left wanting more, since the journey ends all too soon. If you want a life-affirming, heartwarming drama, My Sailor, My Love may fit the bill. 

My Sailor, My Love has its World Premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival

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