The Outrun 2024

Directed by Nora Fingscheidt Portraits

Saoirse Ronan brings Amy Liptrot’s award-winning memoir to the screen in this ardently moving portrait of addiction recovery set in the majestic Orkney Islands of Scotland.

Aug 11

The Civic

Aug 13

The Civic

UK In English
118 minutes Colour / DCP
Offensive language & sexual assault



Sarah Brocklehurst, Dominic Norris, Jack Lowden, Saoirse Ronan


Nora Fingscheidt, Amy Liptrot. Based on the memoir by Amy Liptrot.


Yunus Roy Imer


Stephan Bechinger

Production Designer

Andy Drummond

Costume Designer

Grace Snell


John Gürtler, Jan Miserre


Saoirse Ronan, Paapa Essiedu, Stephen Dillane, Saskia Reeves


Sundance, Berlin, Sydney, Edinburgh 2024


Saoirse Ronan (The French Dispatch, NZIFF 2021), in perhaps her most powerful role yet, plays Rona, a recovering alcoholic, in this stunning adaptation of Amy Liptrot’s memoir of the same name. Rona returns to her home, the Orkney Islands in Scotland, after hitting rock bottom in London.  

The Outrun blends folklore into realism to make a recovery narrative that’s unique and fresh. The scenery is painted with the magnificent colours of nature and accented with Rona’s vivid hair changes – representing each stage of her journey. Flashbacks to her London past and the striking imagery of the Orkney Islands are juxtaposed against each other in a way that magnifies their differences. In London, humans are the initiators of drama, whereas on the islands it is nature that creates chaos.  

Upon her return to Orkney, Rona finds it difficult to relate. How can she control chaos if she is not the creator? She has had to deal with uncoordinated anarchy her whole life as we learn her father has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Flashbacks of him thrusting windows open to welcome in a raging storm connect to flashbacks of Rona on violent, drunken rampages in London. Even the bystanders are similar, helpless against the perpetrator’s whim. Alcohol and drug abuse act as Band-Aids for the trauma developed in her upbringing. 

The story wills us to question whether Rona will truly make it. Her reluctance to embrace anything pure can be sadly relatable, but her reconnection with her passion for biology provides hope. The Outrun takes you through a whole journey that is treated with honesty and tenderness, never looking down on those who struggle. — Huia Haupapa