An inspiring story about the unlikely story of Ralph Walker, a ninth grader who outran everyone's expectations except his own in his bold quest of trying to win the 1954 Boston Marathon. Ralph is a fatherless 14-year-old with a seriously ill mother, who knows he's a time bomb waiting to explode into greatness, except that he has no idea where that greatness will manifest itself. An unfortunate incident of self-abuse in the community pool inadvertently sets him on this road when, as penance, Ralph is conscripted to the cross-country team. Desperate to believe a miracle will bring his mother out of a coma, Ralph becomes a convert to the church of running, and determines to win the Boston Marathon.
A sweet and silly story that becomes increasingly poignant as the minutes tick by, Saint Ralph
is the fictional tale of a wayward 9th grader, Ralph (Adam Butcher), who is secretly living on his own while his widowed, hospitalized mother remains immersed in a coma. Frequently in trouble with Father Fitzpatrick (Gordon Pinsent), the principal of his all-boys, Catholic school, Ralph is considered something of a joke among peers until he decides to pull off the miracle that could save his mother, i.e., winning the Boston Marathon. Coached by a younger priest and former runner, Father Hibbert (Campbell Scott), whose cynicism has been lifted by the boy's pure hope, Ralph applies himself to his unlikely mission, fending off naysayers and getting help along a very challenging path from sundry allies and friends. A touching movie featuring a startlingly knowing performance from the young lead. Jennifer Tilly and Tamara Hope co-star, and the film was written and directed by Michael McGowan (My Dog Vincent
). --Tom Keogh