The UK is about to switch its currency from Pounds to Euros, giving a gang a chance to rob the poorly-secured train loaded with money on its way to incineration. But, during the robbery, one of the big bags falls literally from the sky on Damian's playhouse, a 7-year old given to talking to saints. The boy then starts seeing what the world and the people around him are made of. Ethics, being human and the soul all come to the forefront in this film. Written by
Damian favourite book is called "Six O'Clock Saints". Popular in the UK in the 1950s, it is surprising that any parent would give a copy to their child, as the screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce points out at 03:08 in the DVD commentary, since it contains all the gruesome stories that Damian tells in class, plus many more. Its inclusion is a sort of homage to Martin Scorsese, who, according to Boyce, has cited it in interviews as one of his favorite books growing up and that it gave him a wider understanding of the human experience than had been revealed to him as a child. Roger Ebert's 18 March 2005 review of the film, mentions that Boyce "got the inspiration for the screenplay from an interview in which Martin Scorsese said he was reading the lives of the saints." See more »
During the house-building sequence at the beginning of the film, the Moon is seen rising behind the house, but it moves upwards to the left. As the film is set in England (in the northern hemisphere), it should rise towards the right. See more »
The French have said au revoir to the franc, the Germans have said auf wiedersehen to the mark, and the Portuguese have said... whatever to their thing.
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When the Pathe logo comes up, the shadow of the hen has a halo over its head. See more »
I'm not sure that any movie has left me in a bigger emotional mess at the end, ever. It is very hard to find a film where its driving force is good-natured, pure, simple innocence. Everything is cynical, dry or overly-clever.
Millions manages to encapsulate the simple joys and pains of childhood and put it up on screen in remarkable fashion. Sure it's a little gooey, but it's a good kind of gooey. Here is a film with something of a spiritual backbone, but not in a way that is preachy or overly top-down.
A gem of an idea is backed up with amazing style. Director of Photography Anthony Dod Mantle pulls all sorts of tricks out of his hat, each appropriate and enriching to the film as a whole. Alex Etel's performance is superlative; the camera goes right in his eyes and you can see palpable emotion from the child actor there.
The storytelling device of introducing the Saints, Damian's "imaginary friends", is handled deftly and sweetly, not in a silly, obvious manner. The actors who portray the saints, including Enzo Cilenti and Alun Armstrong, have a down-to-earth, human manner about them that puts the audience at ease and allows us to enjoy their presence just as the character of Damian does.
The film harks back to old-fashioned children's' films, with its slimy villain, morally off-center older brother, honest hardworking dad and larger-than-life backdrop. When the waterworks start to flow, the audience won't feel cheated, because the film worked hard at creating (not engineering) that emotion, and deserves it.
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