Wild Mountain Thyme benefits from lush lensing by Stephen Glodblatt from coastline to leas as it can be exasperating in its storytelling, especially from what is spoken by many of its characters.
The tighter scaling demonstrated by the playwright doesn’t fare too well in this expanse as he draws a bit from his heritage which ends up a little more serene and touching than it has any right to be.
Because much of it surrounding a predestined childhood love stagnant well into adulthood straddles a fine line between the feisty and the frumpy.
Blunt’s Rosemary displays some melancholic underpinnings to go along with ardor in trying to get neighboring farmhand Anthony (a vulnerably, quirky Dornan unlike his urbane Christian Grey) out of a long funk.
Christopher Walken is his dad Tony as the narrative hinges on plans for the family farm when it comes to suave, American bander nephew Adam (a mostly thankless part for Jon Hamm). Tension is set up with Rosemary and her widow mother Aoife (Dublin’s Dearbhla Molloy) in the film’s most authentic, if brief role.
A climactic reveal may have a few heads turning after having to bear through this kind of lilting as the accents may not be the biggest turnoff with Dornan actually hailing from Belfast. From a Rolls Royce to a Swan Lake viewing, not to mention a metal detector or acting like a donkey or being a bee there’s much to consider how wonderstruck Shanley was by his own material.
But, Irish/Scottish folk standards, including the latter eponymous one (performed by Blunt) helps a bit to make this character-drives romancer filled with some warmth as distancing as it really is. In this Emerald Isle swooning temptation Blunt and Dornan are more attractive than appealing together in part because of an inevitable waiting Wild Mountain Thyme may have a certain sparkly charm but it’s too often hidden under all that fairy-tale blarney.