Why ‘Far and Away’ Remains a Lumbering, but Fitfully Epic, Experience

Ron Howard’s “Far and Away” (1992) seemingly aims, right from the opening moments, to declare itself as the most Irish movie ever made by an American about the Irish.

It begins in Western Ireland in 1892. Mikael Salomon’s ravishing cinematography dusts the ocean waters but takes us right into a pub, where we hear drunken limericks.

We watch as three red-headed Irish brothers get into a fight. Heck, even the opening titles are green! Howard’s film declares its Irish identity so brazenly, you wonder why he bothered calling it “Far and Away” and didn’t stick with the (better) shooting title: “The Irish Story.”

One of the three brawling brothers is Joseph, played by Tom Cruise, whose father is about to die. A bedside sit takes place, in which the camera gives an...

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Mar 18th 2022
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