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Evelyn
Эвелин (2002)
Movie
  • Director:
    Bruce Beresford
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Paul Pender
  • Cast:
    Pierce Brosnan,Julianna Margulies,Aidan Quinn
  • Time:
    1h 34min
  • Budget:
    $10,000,000
  • Year:
    2002
1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment, and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children, Evelyn, Dermot, and Maurice, make it clear to the authorities that his is an untenable situation. The Irish courts put the Doyle children into Church-run orphanages. Although a sympathetic judge assures Desmond that he'll get his children back after he gets a job, he learns there's another barrier. During that time, Evelyn suffers abuse, while Desmond goes to court to get his children back. A barmaid, her brother, her suitor, and a tippling footballer become Desmond's team.
Casts
Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophie Vavasseur Sophie Vavasseur - Evelyn Doyle
Niall Beagan Niall Beagan - Dermot Doyle
Hugh McDonagh Hugh McDonagh - Maurice Doyle (as Hugh Macdonagh)
Pierce Brosnan Pierce Brosnan - Desmond Doyle
Mairead Devlin Mairead Devlin - Charlotte Doyle
Frank Kelly Frank Kelly - Henry Doyle
Claire Mullan Claire Mullan - Mrs. Daisley
Alvaro Lucchesi Alvaro Lucchesi - Inspector Logan
Garrett Keogh Garrett Keogh - District Judge
Daithi O'Suilleabhain Daithi O'Suilleabhain - Brother Eustace (as Daithi O'Suillebhain)
Andrea Irvine Andrea Irvine - Sister Brigid
Marian Quinn Marian Quinn - Sister Theresa
Karen Ardiff Karen Ardiff - Sister Felicity
Julianna Margulies Julianna Margulies - Bernadette Beattie
Bosco Hogan Bosco Hogan - Father O'Malley

Эвелин (2002)

Evelyn's mother is said to have gone to Australia with her lover, but in reality, she went to England and ended up raising another family there. The real Evelyn Doyle eventually saw her mother on more than one occasion, but they never reconciled.

Several decades later, widespread shocking revelations and allegations about the extent of the abuse of children in the care of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, during this time in the 1950s, among other decades, and religious organizations, have since given this film a much darker undercurrent than originally intended.

Pooker
Pooker
After years of seeing Pierce Brosnan play roles depicting him as the suave ladies man, I was skeptical when we picked this up in the video store and read the premise. I am not a Bond fan and I always considered Brosnan a lightweight actor.

Much to my surprise, Brosnan was dead on in his portrayal of an uncultured, heavy-drinking but loving father, who has his children taken away. It was obvious that he was very passionate about the role, and seemed to be on a mission to prove his mettle as a serious actor.

This is a very atypical movie, not really fitting into any of the usual, predictable genres. It has its funny moments, but it is mostly sobering and heart-wrenching. Aidan Quinn, Julianna Margulies (formerly of ER) and the little girl who plays Evelyn head an impressive supporting cast.

Those who require explosions and car chases need not bother with this one, but if you enjoy an intelligent, touching human drama, you will be in for an unexpected treat.
FreandlyMan
FreandlyMan
This is the story of how Desmond Doyle fought the Irish government to have his children (Evelyn, Dermot, and Maurice) released back into his custody. After his wife desserts him, leaving behind the children also, the government takes his children until such a time as the unmarried, currently unemployed Desi "can improve his circumstances". Much to his naive and broken heart's dismay, he later realizes that once the government has them, it intends to keep them from living in a paternal, one parent home. It tells the story of this man's journey becoming a better man and father. It also tells the story of the incidents behind the over turning of an unconstitutional law which had never been successfully challenged. Played brilliantly by Pierce Brosnan (who was born in Ireland) with Alan Bates taking on the role of the ex-barrister (retired) who changed the course of Irish family history. Sophie Vavasseur does an excellent job in the title role of Evelyn. Not over played or pretentious, this is a quiet must see for those who like to see real life with some happy endings.
Chilele
Chilele
Something totally different for actor Pierce Brosnan, and he makes the best of it in a terrific performance.

Desmond Doyle (Brosnan) is a poor Irish father, married with 3 children. His wife deserts him and as he has no finances, the state takes his loving children away and places the boys in one school and his daughter, Evelyn, in a convent.

His lovely daughter meets up with one kind nun but one so vicious played by a lady whose last name is Irvine. I haven't seen such cruelty displayed by a nun since Gladys Cooper in "The Song of Bernadette."

Brosnan, a house painter and part-time singer, shows tremendous depth in this role of a hard-drinking, heavy smoking individual whose love for his children transcends all.

He engages two attorneys played by Stephen Rea and Aidan Quinn to help him. In turn, they pursue another retired attorney, the late Alan Bates, who provides comic relief with his performance.

The picture focuses on the attempts of the attorneys to change Irish law that would allow one parent in such a situation to decide what's right for his child.

Irish eyes are certainly smiling on Doyle, he immediately touches the hearts of the people in his plain, sympathetic style. Heart-wrenching and a joy to view. Don't miss it.
Ndyardin
Ndyardin
I just watched this movie on pay per view, and I thought it was delightful. Pierce Brosnan does a fine job. So nice to see him really get a chance to act. And the supporting cast, including Alan Bates and Stephen Rea, is exceptional. The story is very believable and touching, probably because it is based on a true story. I just wonder why this film, directed by the talented Bruce Beresford, did not make any significant splash when it was released. It may have played in Austin, but I don't remember it. Just shows how marketing, or lack of it, can make a movie disappear. It's a shame it didn't get more attention. I heartily recommend it.
Dynen
Dynen
I loved this movie from the first time I saw it. It has all a good story needs. It's funny, moving and warm.

The story of Evelyn Doyle is told without too much bias, which is a nice thing to see. It paints a picture of 1950s Ireland that seems more optimistic. The movie is not all about misery. It's about life with all its ups and downs.

The cast is excellent, you just have to love all the characters. I'm especially fond of Pierce Brosnan's performance. You see a side of him that he doesn't get to show much on film. He even sings, what impressed me a lot. He makes you forget about James Bond; he actually becomes Desmond Doyle. I'd love to see him in more films of that kind!
Ynye
Ynye
This is a wonderful movie.

I admit this movie is manipulative, and probably exaggerated for purposes of drama, but what based-on-a-true story movies aren't? At least it goes after the right things: a father having custody of his kids, rather than them being forced to live in an "institution."

The story is based a true situation in the mid 1950s Ireland in which, in the end, the Irish Constitution was amended because of this case. "Desmond Doyle" (Pierce Brosnan) is the loving father whose wife runs off one day with another man, leaving him with three little kids and little visible means of support. Since he didn't have enough finances, the government makes the kids wards of the state and places them in Catholic schools-homes (institutions?).

On that Catholic, or "religious," angle, you get a lot of positive and negative scenes here. You have a bad, nasty almost sadistic nun "Sister Brigid," but the others are fine caring ladies, as they should be. Overall, however, you see a lot of faith portrayed in this film and it's mostly good. Of course, that faith was more out in the open in the '50s than today, but it was inspiring to see in many parts.

Brosnan is excellent in the lead role, a man everyone can identify with: a loving but flawed man. He drinks too much, he swears, he doesn't have a steady job but he has great heart and has great determination to the right thing. One has no trouble rooting for him in this story. I think it's the best role he has ever played, far better than his superficial James Bond or thieves roles he normally plays.But nobody hits you as emotionally as little Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur), one of Doyle's three kids and the one that is focused upon here. (The two little brothers are not given much screen time, for some reason.) Brosnan's allies in here - the two lawyers (played by Stephen Rea and Aiden Quinn) are likable as is Alan Bates who plays a rugged ex-barrister who winds up helping the team. Bates might have had the best role for the supporting actors.

This is such an involving story, one that you really care about the people, it can bring a tear or two in the end, but what's wrong with that? When you are finished watching this film, you feel good.
Pedar
Pedar
Possibly you're a cynic and think the blarney is laid on too abundantly in this movie. Or you might be calling it "O'Kramer vs. O'Kramer" and this isn't too sappy and predictable to be taken seriously. Well, guess what, it is, and I loved every minute.

Pierce Brosnan, who I used to consider a cardboard cut-out of an actor, plays Desmond Doyle. He's fantastic as a father whose daughter and two sons are removed from their home by the government after their Mother ( in this case, the term can be used in the biological sense only) abandons the family. This being Ireland in the 1950s, there was a law that stated the government can intervene when one parent is found to be insufficient. Desmond has to quit drinking, deal with the death of his father, find a lawyer and rarely see his kids.

Its all okay at the end, and I have to mention that I hope the children's Mother and a certain Sister Bridget have the thankless job of eating ---- in hell for all eternity.

Worth mentioning from the cast is Alan Bates, a hard-drinking consultant to Doyle's case, and his wishes to hear (or not hear) a 'however' from the judges were hilarious.

I had a small problem with the fact that the Mother was not on trial, literally, because it was her abandonment of her family that led to them being separated.

Anyway, its a terrific movie. 8/10.
Yanthyr
Yanthyr
I have to admit, I was skeptical and anxious to see Pierce Brosnan in a serious dramatic role. His characters are usually very debonair and have an air of superiority about them that makes him seem to be better than the rest of us. I was pleasantly surprised seeing his true to life performance as Desmond Doyle an unemployed father of two boys and a girl named Evelyn. Evelyn is the eldest of the three children and has a special bond with her father which is the basis of the whole movie. Pierce Brosnan plays his character with a delicacy and dedication in which you the viewer completely forget him as Pierce Brosnan and start to really believe that this is a documentary type movie and not a Hollywood production. As Pierce Brosnan is Irish by birth it is not surprising how well he can pull off a moderate Irish accent but it is still a bit shocking considering how English he usually seems when he is seen on-screen. Stephen Rea, Alan Bates, Aidan Quinn and Juliana Margulies round out the rest of the adult cast and all put in performances that are worthy of their talents. Juliana Margulies being an American born actress is able to portray an Irish woman with accent very convincingly. This movie is without a doubt one of the better films of 2002, it is unfortunate that it was not widely known as a potential Oscar favorite.
Not-the-Same
Not-the-Same
This is the true story of a father who battled some unfair Irish child custody laws about 50 years ago. He puts his kids in an orphanage, and then cannot get them back. He suffers from a prejudice that only mothers can raise kids.

I liked this movie because I identified with the father. To my surprise, my kids love this movie also. They've watched it about 10 times. This is partly because they've been the victims of a court-ordered custody change. But also, my daughters find the Evelyn Doyle character inspiring. She is calm and courageous and sensible in the face of a wrong system.
allegro
allegro
EVELYN (2002) *** Pierce Brosnan, Stephen Rea, Julianna Margulies, Aidan Quinn, Alan Bates, John Lynch, Sophie Vavasseur, Niall Beagan, Hugh McDonagh, Mairead Devlin, Frank Kelly. Heart-tugging melodrama based on a true story about a working class Irishman named Desmond Doyle circa 1950s attempted to regain full custody of his three beloved children (including the cute-as-pie Vavasseur as the titular daughter) after their mother abandons them making them wards of the state with stints in a Catholic institution. Brosnan acts up a storm with brio and has able support from Rea, Bates and Quinn as his legal brothers in arms and Margulies as the local barmaid/love interest. Warm-hearted and predictable but none-the-less crowd pleasing. (Dir: Bruce Beresford)
Eyalanev
Eyalanev
Those of us who endured the gruelling "Angela's Ashes" a few years back probably came away with the impression that living in 1950s Ireland was like living in hell, or maybe slightly worse. We were treated to the dysfunctional family to end all: the father was a mean drunk, the mother was nuts, the kids were brats, their relatives were all vicious (or nuts), they were poorer than dirt, they lived under the heel of a Stalinist Catholic Church, and it NEVER STOPPED RAINING. I left the cinema wondering not why so many Irish had left their country, but why any had stayed.

Now along comes "Evelyn" which also is about poor people in 1950s Ireland, but this seems to be the Hallmark greeting card version. The father (played by Pierce Brosnan using, I imagine, his native accent) does drink, but he's not at all mean about it, his kids are angelic and the mother who abandons them only gets about five minutes of screen time and is soon forgotten. There are relatives who may not like one another but are united in their love for the kids (an enjoyable scene has Evelyn, the daughter, running back and forth conveying messages between two of them). There are a lot of well-meaning friends and acquaintances. They live in a nice home and don't seem to be starving or barefoot. It almost seems no big deal when the mother leaves; if anything, one supposes what little money they have will go further, with one fewer mouth to feed (there's an obligatory scene with Brosnan versus a boiling pot because, of course, all men are morons in the kitchen).

So it seems a little odd when government minions step in and announce that nice Mr. Doyle whose wife left him can't keep his kids any more. Now I know this is based on a true story and I know from other sources there was indeed a vast orphanage gulag (complete with slave labor) in Ireland, partly so that church and state could pretend it's possible to have a functioning country without divorce or abortion (and there was always nearby England). Some of that background would have been fascinating in "Evelyn," but maybe too depressing. So we just have to accept that here's this quaint country with this goofy law arbitrarily taking people's kids away. Doyle readily accedes to the removal, then abruptly wants them back. His efforts make up the remainder of the movie.

The problem here is what psychologists call "cognitive dissonance": on the one hand we're constantly reminded that the struggle of Doyle and his supporters against the church/state hierarchy is "hopeless," on the other hand, there's never really a sensation of hopelessness or desperation. There's a kind of amiable smoothness to the events, and frequent humorous moments. This may be partly due to the guiding hand of director Bruce Beresford who has never met a dramatic situation that he couldn't make cozy, whether it was the Boer War in "Breaker Morant," Southern racial tensions in "Driving Miss Daisy," capital punishment in "Last Dance" or Japanese POW camps in "Paradise Road," the latter also with J. Margulies from "ER." The orphanages in which the kids live don't even seem that unpleasant aside from one fascistic nun whose misdeeds get exposed anyway. The real horror of the Irish orphanage gulag was that it was swept under the rug for decades. This movie functions under a "sunshine law," literally; I don't want to "spoil" the big climactic scene for anyone, but let's just say that if they ever do another version of "Alice in Wonderland," spunky little Sophie Vavasseur is just the one to stand up (and up, and up) and tell all the high muckamucks they're all just a pack of cards.

I hope this isn't making it seem I didn't enjoy the movie; quite the contrary. I especially liked the ordinary-joe quality of Brosnan's Doyle, neither sinister nor saintly, fumbling his way toward becoming a better man for his kids' sake. If anything, I wish they'd given him a few more "warts," if only to make the point that if a parent is not clearly abusing his or her kids, then those kids belong with the parent, and not with the sodding government, or church. Nice to see some of my favorites like Stephen Rea and Aidan Quinn and Alan Bates being such good sports. Julianna M. gets probably her most "normal" film role yet, and shows (at least to me) why she should be a major star. She exudes realness. When male characters contend for her, I buy it. Can't say that about every actress, some of whom probably get paid a lot more for their roles (sorry, Sandra Bullock).

Basically this is a "feel-good" flick, and we can always use those. But like the orphans still behind the walls at the end, there is a darker theme still waiting for it's moment in the sun.

By the way, dog-racing's not a very nice thing either.
Freaky Hook
Freaky Hook
While I must admit this is a chick-flick, it is a very good one. A heartwarming story, very well acted by an excellent cast. At times it was a little difficult to understand some of the thick accents, but it's better than hearing someone like Kevin Costner speak with an American accent in Robin Hood. The child actors were very convincing, although with the habits they were wearing it was hard to tell the good nuns from the bad nuns. The screenplay had just enough humor to keep the movie from getting too sappy, which is critical if you want guys to keep from walking out. Much better material for Pierce Brosnan than the James Bond scripts.
Vivados
Vivados
In this film, Pierce Brosnan who I'll always remember as James Bond, stars as a dad who's determined to get his kids back before Christmas. This is a wonderful story everyone can enjoy, a few spoilers ahead, Desmond Doyle doesn't have enough money to support his family, and it gets worse, his wife has abandoned them, and there's no one left to care for his children, and the Church and Irish court has ordered that they be brought to orphanages, but Doyle still wants them back, and his daughter Evelyn gets abused by one of the nuns, and then a trial starts for him to get them back after an Irish-American decides to be his lawyer, and it is a close one, but he won't give up till he gets them back. This film really touched me, and caught the attention of many more, and changed a nation. I liked especially the part when the girl describes the truth of what the sister did to her, contrary to what she said about helping her, it was cool to rip the mascara off of her! And I like the part when Desmond describes what the Catholic family is based on, the Holy Trinity. Recommended for everyone, for the entire family. Well done Mr. Bond!
Gholbithris
Gholbithris
You really owe it to yourself to see this movie. It's a wonderful, uplifting movie that shows the importance of family and friends. Call and write your local theatres to see if they're going to show it, and if not, why not? Tell all of your friends about it, ask them to make those calls as well and then get up a group to go and see "Evelyn".

Pierce Brosnan does a great job as Desmond Doyle, proving that he can do much more than just be James Bond. The supporting cast, Juliana Margulies, Aidan Quinn, Alan Bates, and the little girl who played Evelyn" is perfect.

Please, don't let this movie pass you by!
Juce
Juce
I'd borrowed the DVD of 'Evelyn' several weeks ago but only got around to watching it tonight and then wished I'd watched it several times in between before returning it to the person who loaned it to me....Brilliant is the only expletive to describe this warm, heartfelt story the likes of which 'they don't make anymore'. Pierce who in my mind has been the best Bond in the business (excluding Connery who being first gets originality) and was good for 2 or three more at least, proves again, as in 'Grey Owl' he is a first rate actor who shouldn't be judged simply as another 'Bond action man'. He acts his heart out in this role and brings the viewer a lovely story that probably wouldn't have been told without his personal support. More please Pierce, if the Bond producers can't recognise talent and the public great judgement, more 'Evelyn' type stories please Pierce and the Oscar should be just around the corner. Congrats to all involved.
Aloo
Aloo
Based on the true story of a man who contested the Supreme Court in 1950s Ireland as he fought to gain complete custody of his children, EVELYN is a departure for Pierce Brosnan. Known for his television work in "Remington Steele" and for his movie appearances as James Bond, he's come to symbolize suave sophistication and any woman's ultimate romantic icon.

With this movie, Brosnan attempts to go against type. He succeeds to a degree, because for the entire movie, all one can see is Brosnan with an Irish accent, playing a sweet hard working Irishman who has that Irish temper that flares in one inopportune (but justifiable) moment and will come to bite him later on via a cartoon vengeful nun. Note the mention of the word Irish: it's for a reason. I felt as though I was being hammered with it, it's as if the movie wanted to make sure I knew just where EVELYN was taking place.

EVELYN has another big problem. Several siblings get separated after they are taken away from Brosnan's Desmond Doyle, but the story chooses, for inexplicable reasons, to focus on the Dickensian experiences of the daughter -- who grants the movie its title -- who meets the aforementioned cartoon nasty nun who seems all too eager to enforce her discipline.

Also, even at its 90 minutes it seems just a tad long and a shade too manipulative for me to really feel the story. A moment when young Sophie Vavausseur as Evelyn has to testify her case against the prosecution does feel real, and has a quiet mysticism about it. Other than that, much of what happens in the movie has a perfunctory element to it. The inclusion of actors Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Bates, and Julianna Margulies brings little relevance. KRAMER VS. KRAMER, Irish-style.
Sharpbringer
Sharpbringer
I don't mind how the movie diverges from the actual story as its primary purpose is entertainment but I found the movie's script let things down enormously. I found the script was extremely blatant and was very cliché. Fortunately the strength of the story (the story, not the script), the acting and the directing make the movie enjoyable enough. If only this movie had a better writer then the story could have made a much bigger impact.

ERRATA: ccthemovieman-1 writes in his review, "The story is based a true situation in the mid 1950s Ireland in which, in the end, the Irish Constitution was amended because of this case." Neither in the movie nor in the real events from which the movie is based was the Irish Constitution amended. SPOILER: In both, Desmond Doyle's victory is achieved by challenging the constitutional validity of the law which was used to refuse Desmond custody of his children. The supreme court held that the statute conflicts with the constitution and is therefore invalid (hence that law could no longer be used to deprive Desmond of custody).
Moswyn
Moswyn
I saw bits and pieces of this movie,Evelyn, today. I really would like to watch it again in its entirety. Does anyone know when it will air again and on what network? It is a wonderful story. The all star cast is great esp. Aidan Quinn and Pierce Brosnan. Also, does anyone know if it is based on a true story? I've never heard of the movie before today. It makes for good holiday programming during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays even though it does not contain a holiday theme. It's heartwarming family-type appeal, I think, would be well received during this time of year. I would strongly urge Oxygen or the Hallmark channel to run it again. There should be more movies and programs such as this on TV these days promoting family values and wholesome settings for our children. So much of television is just wasted time and it is better left off. "Silence is golden"!
Ventelone
Ventelone
They are generally from Disney or from many other studios now, and they contain a plot similar to the animated movies but are acted in live flesh and have fundamentals in people's feelings. They are also movies that have the best intentions and are directed to the heart.

MGM brings "Evelyn" and along with it brings Pierce Brosnan in an unlikely usual but pleasant role. I could only think of him saying: "I'm Bond…James Bond", and now he comes with this Irish accent with doesn't suit him right (and he is Irish!); but we forgive him. In fact, we forgive lots of things in movies like this. Brosnan ends up achieving a moving and dedicated performance, making us forget about his old spy roles. He plays Desmond Doyle, a father abandoned by his wife that has to leave their children to authorities due to a lack of money. Then, with strength and courage plus the help of some, they arrive to a trial…This is based in a true story.

These characters, the ones I like to call "helpers"; because they stay with the hero from the start until the end. They also carry on with specific plot obligations. Alan Bates plays the old fox Tom Connolly, who wants to take his glory days back, and he puts a lot of enthusiasm to the movie. Brian McGrath's Hugh Canning, Connolly's friend and newsman, who informs the results of the trials in the most cheerful way. Nick Barron, the lawyer who was first against, but then helped more than any other, played by Aidan Quinn with an elegant smile and charm. Stephen Rea shows to be in top form with his honest but shy lawyer Michael Beattie. And his sister, Bernadette Beattie, puts some love again in Desmond's life and is played by Julianna Margulies with innocence and wisdom. It is a wonderful showcase of performances; director Bruce Beresford seems to know them all and when everybody looks comfortable…

Still, from all these characters the one who highlights the most is Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur), one of Desmond's children. I can clearly see the plot's interest in her, because of thefilm's title, but even when the bond between her and her father is strong, she shouldn't have been the plot's center; because it obligates us to give an importance to her that she doesn't probably have. There other two sons (I won't even mention their names because they don't even seem to be there) and Desmond's father Henry (a marvelous Frank Kelly), but we mostly see Evelyn in church with the nuns and no other relevant subplot whatsoever. However, young actress Vavasseur is a revelation and shows gifts of an immense talent; and that's a positive thing for pieces of this type.

We get the usual; including a script by Paul Pender full of phrases, as I said, "directed to the heart", that unite to that touching music and that captivating image in this movie, where everything is correct, but it ultimately depends of us…If we let it in or not.
Aver
Aver
Most of the portrayals in this movie were exceptionally well done and for the most part authentic. The interaction between Pierce and Sophie was absolute perfection. All of the cultural aspects of living in Ireland mid- twentieth century are in place, and the story is one you are not likely to forget.

One exception in the cast line up is Julianna Margulies whose character is too one-dimensional to be believable and instead of being sympathetic just fades into the background. A strong performance by Aidan Quinn as an American lawyer visiting Ireland were very supporting, if not entirely the truth.

My largest complaint for seeing it in the theater was that much of the movie was filmed too darkly and it was difficult to view. The DVD conversion has corrected this problem and it is no longer an issue. The central theme of this film is one of the church having too much judicial power in Ireland is dealt with very strongly and was highly effective. I would recommend this movie on all counts.
Adoraris
Adoraris
"Evelyn" is a well-done, star-cast, heart-tugging movie-of-the-week, Irish division.

Pierce Brosnan produced, as he has some other small movies like the charming "The Match," and this one has some personal autobiographical resonance for him.

For folks who only know him from TV's "Remington Steele" (sigh) or the Bond flicks, Brosnan has done a fair share of dramatic indies, including a previous colonial Brit film with the same director Bruce Beresford, "Mister Johnson," though his singing here is game but just adequate.

Just about everyone but a dour Stephen Rea twinkles in this film -- Julianna Margulies with a fair Irish brogue, Aidan Quinn and Alan Bates.

I would think it's impossible to resist the movie's teary charms, and the audience not only cried but applauded at the end.

It is certainly nice to see a strong movie about paternal affection and responsibilities, especially an Irish one with a minimum of drinking stereotypes.

The closing Van Morrison song is minor Van, but that's still better than most over-the-credit schmaltz.

(originally written 1/4/2003)
Hugighma
Hugighma
This a sweet little movie that details a real-life legal battle that took place in Ireland in 1953, when an unemployed alcoholic father who's wife runs off to New Zealand has his three children taken away "because that's the law" and placed in church-run orphanages. He petitions the Irish Supreme Court and sets a new precedent for Irish parental rights. Everyone who seems amazed that Pierce Brosnan can play the part of an average working guy (Desmond), will probably be astounded to find out that he is doing his own singing in the pub! The beginning of this film moves slowly, and it almost falls into anti-Catholic stereotypes, but although it skirts the edge, it never quite tips over. Characters are real - Desmond reacts as many a father would in such a situation - at first he falls into despair, but then he pulls himself together and fights back. The "victory" speech at the end, by the little girl, Evelyn, is predictably sweet, but Evelyn did speak at the trial, and the law did change, so one can forgive the sweetness.
Innadril
Innadril
This a good movie because it is easy to understand, has sympathetic, likable characters, the actors play their parts well and it's good in nature.

The story is none to complex and flows well, I saw this late on new year's eve and understood it clearly. The cast and all play their parts well. I felt really sorry for Pierce Brosnan, being abandoned, losing his kids, having the system against him and having a huge fight on his hands. Nonetheless he holds his head up high and has a real pally attitude. Frank Kelly (Father Jack from Father Ted) plays a kind hearted grandfather well. In the best character ranks is also Sophie Vavasseur as Evelyn, who steals the show, shes a brave and defiant cookie in the institution and the court.

It's also good in nature with Brosnan's family sticking together, along with the support he receives from Frank Kelly, Julianna Margulies, the lawyers, and pub patrons. It's also good natured with the concept of the sun through the clouds being Frank Kelly looking down from heaven.

It's also good as an expose of over the top and out dated morals being injected into government (generally speaking). Even though Brosnan was dumped by a wife who clearly wasn't interested in staying, he genuinely made an effort to care for the children. But the law ruined everything.

But politics aside it's a simple, pleasant, story, involving strong sympathetic characters, played by a good cast. A 9/10.

The final scene in the court with the third judge repeatedly saying however was a classic.
Lanionge
Lanionge
While on the surface this appears to be a story that lacks originality but it truthfully tells a true story that ended up challenging Irish laws. Story takes place in Ireland circa 1953 where an unemployed carpenter finds out that his wife has left him for another man and he has to take care of his three kids. Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) is not only unemployed but a hard drinker and when he is forced to face the courts he has no choice but to surrender his kids where they are placed in orphanages and in the care of nuns. Desmond is led to believe that if he gets a job and cleans up his act he can get them back but the Irish laws state that a single parent cannot raise children by themselves unless the other spouse is dead or signs an agreement.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

Desmond talks to a lawyer named Michael Beattie (Stephen Rea) who tells him that it's useless but his Irish American friend Nick Barron (Aidan Quinn) decides to take the case and both he and Desmond are interested in the same bar maid Bernadette (Julianna Margulies). After they lose their first trial they decide to go all the way to the Supreme Court to challenge the law and they enlist in the help of a legendary retired lawyer named Tom Connolly (Alan Bates) who guides them through all the phases.

This film is directed by the talented Bruce Beresford who is always good at making films about characters beating the odds or at least trying to survive them. The story is simple but it is based on fact and if certain events and characters seem a tad obvious it's suppose to because the film wants to point out that the ridiculous Irish laws are based on something even more ridiculous...religion. Events such as what takes place in this film were common place during those times and that's why the trial that takes place is so important as it led to many families being reunited. Brosnan is solid here with his performance and his usual suaveness and intelligence are put to the side as he portrays Desmond realistically as a slob and a hot-headed drunk who must change his life if he wants to get his children back. It reminds viewers that he can play other roles and he does it extremely well with this effort. The simplicity of the story enhances the drama that's played out on screen and the strength of the film comes not only from it's performances but from it's deep rooted honesty.
net rider
net rider
This film was very pleasantly surprising. The actors involved suggested a decent flick, but it's not my type of film at all. I don't do "family flicks" and I don't do "chick flicks" -- and this appeared to come down right between the 2.

Surprisingly, this one is a beautiful piece of work that someone who prefers "Taffin" and "4th Protocol" by style really enjoyed. The acting is strong, the people are *real*, it all just gels.

This one is *definitely* worth taking a look at -- yea, there's a little schmaltz (there's 3 kids billed ABOVE Pierce Brosnan, whaddya expect?), but it's well within the bounds of the story -- but it's a *good* piece of theatre and gives us the chance to see Pierce Brosnan in an entirely different type of role.

If he weren't so pretty, he could have made an excellent character actor :).