Traveller review

The ubiquitous Bill Paxton takes time off from the clamour of his blockbuster duties to produce and star in this endearing portrait of a community of nomadic Irish con-artists. Paxton plays the veteran scam-merchant Bokky, who takes Mark Wahlberg's Pat - a young man desperate to join the travelling clan - under his wing (yes, it does sound like a another turgid Americanisation of the Emerald Isle, but bear with us). To make things interesting, Bokky falls in love with a woman outside this close-knit group (dusky ER maiden Julianna Margulies, no less). Of course, their relationship contravenes the strict traveller code, which advocates no contact with outsiders - but, if it's a toss-up between tradition and Julianna Margulies... A welcome throwback to the industrious independent cinema of '70s America, Traveller - directed by Clint Eastwood's regular cinematographer Jack Green - ambles along in a suitably leisurely manner, saying little but conveying much, as it pauses for a succession of romantic, emotional, life-changing interludes. A shame about the shotgun ending, but Traveller is still a film of considerable charm and sophistication. This carefully crafted gem deserves to be seen and admired.

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