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
The scene between Damien and St. Peter was not in the original screenplay. Director Danny Boyle mentions at 46:03 in the DVD commentary that he suggested Frank Cottrell Boyce re-write the screenplay as a novel to which that scene was then added. When Boyle read the novel, he decided the scene needed to be in the film because of the emphasis that the saints' appearances had gained in rewrites of the original script, so the scene was re-written in script form and shot as a pickup. 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 »
A tribute to a director who makes children interesting and wise and movies for everyone.
Cash virtually falling from the sky has been a staple of moralized tales at least from Chaucer, whose Pardoner's Tale tells of men looking for wealth only to find death. So too for John Huston's Treasure of Sierra Madre, the best of the lot for sheer power of greed backed up with uncommonly good acting by Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston. A few years ago the Burton sisters directed Manna from Heaven using older actors such as Cloris Leachman and Shirley Jones to tell of dollars from God, elderly greed, and a nun with other ideas. More recently, money again from the sky fatally changes three ordinary men in Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan.
Along comes Millions, a delightful British entry with a new twist: Kids find the money, argue about the best way to spend it, and finally get the help of adults to dispose of it. Unlike most greedy types, who eventually suffer the consequences through lame goddess Nemesis, the two brothers are not at the larcenous stage. They simply have different philosophies: Damian wants to give it to the poor; his older brother, Anthony, prefers fiscal responsibility, which does not feature giving away the money. Along the way they learn about the responsibility that sticks inextricably to every note, which they must cash in quickly before the pound is changed into the euro.
Danny Boyle's eclectic imagination has Alex obsessed with the saints, who appear to him regularly in visions to talk candidly about the world as they see it and saw it. Memorable is Clare of Assisi, who smokes a cigarette and claims to be the patron saint of television. Saint Nicholas helps Damian deliver cash to needy Mormons, who turn around immediately and buy a foot massager and digital TV. It's refreshing to see the saints almost human in their little scenes that illuminate the realistic side of religious fanaticism. But it is that devotion that lets Damian fight the forces of greed and a forceful brother, not to mention the crooks and citizens now fully engaged in extracting the cash from the blameless kids.
Boyle's hyperactive camera ushers in some magic realism at the beginning with a house building itself in seconds and later a rocket launch to an exotic paradise. No one ever accused Boyle of being unimaginative or reverent. The ornery Millions is a tribute to a director who makes children interesting and wise and movies for everyone.
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