Based on John MacKay’s novel, a bestseller in Scotland, The Road Dance is the kind of film that rarely gets made these days: a big, sweeping melodrama that may unfold in the Outer Hebrides but has its roots in 50s America and the films of Douglas Sirk.
Bright, beautiful but itching to leave the island, Kirsty Macleod (Hermione Corfield – keep an eye on this one, she’ll go far) is exactly the kind of young woman who regularly found herself crushed by misfortune in Sirk’s movies. The story opens just before the storm of the first world war. Kirsty and her beau, Murdo (Will Fletcher), are planning for the future. Then two disasters befall her: Murdo is called up, and, on the night before he leaves, she is knocked unconscious and raped. Inevitably, Kirsty finds herself pregnant, something she manages to keep secret from the glowering, brimstone-spouting Calvinists on the island.
Although a little too performatively Scottish at times, this is a competently made weepie that should please fans of the book.