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Nesbitt's performance deserves every plaudit going

By Claire Harrison

Published 09/04/2015

The only thing I knew for absolute sure on reaching the end of The Missing, was that Jimmy Nesbitt deserved every acting plaudit in the land for his portrayal of a tormented father.

It was a series that required an eight-week investment in patience, pondering and downright torture as millions of us desperately waited to find out what became of little Olly Hughes.

The series finale was a frustrating let down after we were left hanging with too many questions over whether Olly was dead or alive - buried in France, or living a new life in Russia?

Regardless, Nesbitt shone as The Missing's plot followed Tony Hughes on a journey which began as a happy, everyday dad heading off on a family holiday to France.

He pulled out the finest work of his career in transforming Tony, into a distraught father caught in an unimaginable nightmare before a slow descent into insanity as he refused to give up on his son. In a plot which jumped between three time frames, Frances O'Connor relied on a different hairstyle to tell the viewer which era she was playing as Olly's stoic mum.

Nesbitt, however, wore his time travelling on his face and there was never a moment of doubt over which dad he was playing.

Despite Tony being a feckless irritant with a drink problem who was effectively to blame for his son going missing, Nesbitt still managed to garner sympathy from an audience which rooted for his happy ending until the very last second.

A Bafta's not enough for the man who kept us all hanging and caring - if they gave out Oscars for television work I'd throw in one of those too.

Belfast Telegraph

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