Following the tragic death of their two-year-old son Frankie, Irish couple Johnny and Sarah Sullivan and their remaining two offspring, 10 year old Christy Sullivan and 5 year old Ariel Sullivan, emigrate illegally to the United States via Canada with little in their pockets. Their final destination is Manhattan where Johnny hopes to work as a stage actor. They move into a unit in a run town tenement housed primarily with drug addicts, transvestites and one tenant coined "the man who screams". They do whatever they can to eke out a supportive family environment in this difficult situation, the support which ultimately extends to those around them, most specifically "the screamer" who turns out to be an African-American artist named Mateo with AIDS. But the memory of Frankie hangs over the family in good and bad ways, especially as Sarah learns she's pregnant. Christy, who records their life's goings-on with her beloved camcorder, believes that the angel of Frankie has granted her ... Written by
Jim Sheridan said in interview that the character of Frankie, the dead son, was based Frankie Sheridan, his late brother. The film is dedicated to this Frankie in closing credits. See more »
In the ball throwing scene at the carnival, as Johnny throws the last ball and the camera goes to a blurry slow-motion movement, you can see that the ball is still in his hand as it goes down yet a ball is seen entering the hole. See more »
There's some things you should wish for and some things you shouldn't. That's what my little brother Frankie told me. He told me I only had three wishes, and I looked into his eyes, and I don't know why I believed him.
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One of the most authentically felt films I've ever seen.
I'm not really big on this kind of film, but this one won me over in a big way. Jim Sheridan has such a sure hand as a director that even as the story meanders along, and you're not quite sure where things are going, you know HE knows and you end up trusting him and going along for whatever ride he wants to take you on. The characters and the actors portraying them are so winning, you don't want the movie to end. You just want to stay with them forever.
Every role, right down to the two border guards and the hospital administrator are perfectly cast and performed. The two sisters playing the daughters are amazing. But the acting in the film really belongs to Samantha Morton. It really is a high wire act. In lesser hands this character might have been completely unbelievable. But her love for her husband and children is so palpable, you completely buy everything she has to go through with them.
There were so many chances for cheap sentiment here, but the movie never went there. Really beautiful.
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