A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.
Christy Brown is a spastic quadriplegic born to a large, poor Irish family. His mother, Mrs Brown, recognizes the intelligence and humanity in the lad everyone else regards as a vegetable. Eventually, Christy matures into a cantankerous writer who uses his only functional limb, his left foot, to write with. Written by
I can still remember the fuss that was made when this movie was first
released. Everybody was applauding it. 14 years down the line the film
is very dated, but still very enjoyable but more importantly very
The story centers around Poet, artist and author to be Christy Brown.
He suffers from Celerbal Paulsy (I hope that is spelled right) which
means to be all three of the above occupations is some feat that should
not go unnoticed. He lives in a large family (13 children, not all who
suffered) in a small terraced house in Dublin's City Center. The movie
begins with his birth and the late great Ray Mc Nally being told by a
nurse that there were complications during the birth. We move forward a
couple years to where we see a young Christy (played by Hugh O'Connor)
being helped around by his mother. It is a sad sight to see him
underneath the stairs of his family home watching his brothers and
sisters (all Abled bodied) living a normal lifestyle (despite being
poor) and knowing that he is just as well able to communicate. The
finest scene in this early stage of his life is when Christy writes for
the first time. In front of his family. His father is sceptical at
first however his opinion is reversed when Christy finally proves that
he is not the idiot that everybody thinks him to be.
We then move to Christy's later teenage years where he meets a nurse
with whose help he begins to learn how articulate his words. However
Christy becomes infatuated with this lady. His mother is delighted that
her son is happy however his father is once again the sceptic but this
time he has good cause to as Christy's heart is broken when this woman
announces that she is engaged to an Art dealer.
This film is brilliant and I have a massive amount of praise for Daniel
Day-Lewis who portrays Christy as an angry young man who is coming to
terms with everything in his life. He is disturbed by womens reluctance
to accept him and his condition, He is fed up of his fathers treatment
of his mother and his siblings. Day-Lewis is totally immersed in his
character and it is one of his finest roles. I have seen old interviews
with the real Christy Brown and I can safely say that it is hard at
times to distinguish is it Christy Brown or Daniel Day-Lewis on the
However the show is stolen from him by the finer performances of young
Hugh O'Connor and Ray Mc Nally. Both of whom should have got Oscars as
Best Supporting Actor (O'Connor) and Best Actor (Ray Mc Nally).
O'Connor definitely proves himself in the role because he portrays the
same qualities that Day-Lewis does as a frustrated youngster. Mc Nally
defines the typical Irish Father role that would be made humorous by
Colm Meaney in a number of films. It is such a great pity that he died
shortly after this film. Brenda Fricker must also be mentioned as the
doting mother who does everything that she can to help Christy reach
his full potential. Again she is life like to Christy Browns real life
mother however I think there were more deserving people for that Best
Supporting Actress Oscar.
This film is an amazing piece of independent film making and it really
does so the potential of Jim Sheridan as a director and actor. He would
further develop the themes of family, Irish society, loyalty in his
9 out of 10.
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