Early in The Castle, the happy Kerrigan family is served a chicken dinner. Dad (Michael Caton) observes something on the chicken and asks his wife (Anne Tenney) what it is. "Seasoning," she says proudly. Dad beams: "Seasoning! Looks like everybody's kicked a goal."
And so life spins along in Melbourne, where the Kerrigan home sits surrounded by its built-on rooms, screened-in porch, greyhound kennel, big-dish satellite and carport. For Darryl, it is not so much a house as a shrine to one of the best darn families in the universe, and he proudly points out the plastic Victorian gingerbread trim and the fake chimney.
The Castle, directed by Rob Sitch, is one of those comic treasures like The Full Monty and Waking Ned Devine, that shows its characters in the full bloom of glorious eccentricity. The Kerrigans may be the proudest and happiest family you've ever met, what with dad's prosperous tow-truck business, and the inventions of Steve (Anthony Simcoe), the "idea man" who specializes in fitting tools together so they can do two jobs equally badly. Tracy (Sophie Lee) is the only college graduate (from beauty school), and Dale (Stephen Curry) is the narrator, frequently quoting his dad, who observes, as he gazes up at pylons towering over the home, that "power lines are a reminder of man's ability to generate electricity."
This is the sort of movie the British used to make in black and white, starring Peter Sellers, Alec Guinness, Terry-Thomas, and Ian Carmichael. It's about characters who have a rock-solid view of the universe and their place in it, and gaze out upon the world in sublime contentment.
"Of all the films I've shown at Ebertfest, the audience probably loved" – Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert is Chicago’s own legendary, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic. An integral part of the Chicago International Film Festival since its early years, Roger went on to form his Overlooked Film Festival in 1999. Now known simply as Ebertfest, the annual event highlights films both new and old that deserve wider attention or a fresh look by a new audience. Join us for this special presentation of The Castle, an Ebertfest film handpicked by Roger for Chicago.
The Castle will be presented as part of the special program, Roger Ebert Presents...: Information & Show Times