Albert Finney, Aidan Quinn, Robin Wright
It’s 1957, and in a tiny, isolated Irish village the towns-women cluck disapprovingly every time Wright (State of Grace) passes. That’s because Wright, the town beauty, has had a baby out of wedlock and now defiantly refuses to name, much less marry, the father. Hoping to win her hand is Finney, a policeman twice her age with the sullen look of a man barely hanging on to his sobriety. Then Wright rebuffs him and takes up with Quinn, an actor who has come to town with the traveling Playboys troupe.
How this romantic triangle resolves itself makes for a sophisticated film filled with delicate moments and gentle humor. The Playboys is easy to recommend to anyone who likes his movies smart but his stories sentimental. (Calling all crypto-saps!) Finney is nigh perfect as the cop; Quinn (At Play in the Fields of the Lord) comes into his own as a leading man (and bats baby blues equal to Paul Newman’s); and Wright adds a dash of sass to her serene beauty, hinting at Grace Kelly potential. Except for a long sequence when the young lovers take a motorcycle spin that plays like a travelogue, Playboys marks an enjoyable debut for director Gillies MacKinnon. (PG-13)