The Divine Ryans

Watch The Divine Ryans

  • 1999
  • 5.9  (137)

The Divine Ryans, a 1999 film directed by Stephen Reynolds, is a poignant, coming-of-age story about a young boy named Robert, played by Jordan Harvey, and his unconventional family living in a small town in Newfoundland, Canada. Robert Ryan is a sensitive and imaginative child who longs to escape the constraints of his family's conservative Catholicism and explore the world beyond his small community. His father, Joe Ryan, unyielding and stubbornly devoted to his religious beliefs, represents everything Robert hopes to escape. He refuses to allow his son to attend public school, instilling in him a deep sense of isolation and a yearning for something more meaningful.

One day, however, Robert begins to experience strange visions of Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of athletes, who he believes is calling to him from beyond the veil of the mundane world. As he attempts to reconcile these visions with his own growing sense of self, Robert becomes more and more at odds with his father's rigid expectations, leading to a heartbreaking series of events that will change the course of his life forever.

Along the way, Robert is aided by a colorful cast of characters, including his grandfather, Michael, played by the legendary Pete Postlethwaite in one of his final roles before his death. Michael is a boozy, charismatic figure who embodies the freewheeling spirit of Newfoundland, and he becomes Robert's guide and mentor as he tries to navigate the conflicting demands of family, religion, and his own artistic ambitions.

Another major influence in Robert's life is his eccentric uncle, Reg, played with great verve by Robert Joy. Reg is a musician and actor who has traveled the world in search of adventure, and his arrival in Robert's hometown is a catalyzing event that forces him to confront his own desires and fears. Together, Robert, Michael, and Reg form a makeshift family that provides the freedom and support he needs to find his own voice.

As the film unfolds, it becomes clear that The Divine Ryans is about more than just one boy's struggle to find his place in the world. It's also a deeply felt meditation on faith, identity, and the gap between our everyday lives and the transcendent mysteries that lie just beyond our reach. Through its vivid characters, lush cinematography, and unforgettable soundtrack, The Divine Ryans captures the joys and struggles of growing up in a way that transcends time and place.

Ultimately, The Divine Ryans is a testament to the power of human connection and the ways in which we rely on each other to make sense of our experiences. It's a film that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to find their place in the world or reconcile their own inner visions with the expectations of those around them. For those in need of a reminder that life is beautiful and complex, and that we're all in it together, The Divine Ryans is not to be missed.

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  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (137)