Nine-year-old Frankie and his single mum Lizzie have been on the move ever since Frankie can remember, most recently arriving in a seaside Scottish town. Wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, Lizzie has invented a story that he is away at sea on the HMS Accra. Every few weeks, Lizzie writes Frankie a make-believe letter from his father, telling of his adventures in exotic lands. As Frankie tracks the ship's progress around the globe, he discovers that it is due to dock in his hometown. With the real HMS Accra arriving in only a fortnight, Lizzie must choose between telling Frankie the truth or finding the perfect stranger to play Frankie's father for just one day... Written by
The song that plays while Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) is sitting on a bench crying after a fruitless attempt to find a "daddy" for Frankie, is written by one of the most famous contemporary Estonian composer - Arvo Pärt. See more »
When Lizzie is reading the last letter, it says "Thanks for the book" twice, but it is only read once. See more »
The beautiful princess is trapped by the evils in her past, she is icy, almost dead to anything but the need to keep the truth from Frankie, her 9 year old son. But Frankie is smart and resourceful and will save her, as well as any son in a storybook. This is a beautiful film, a fantasy with a stark and realistic background, which can also take your breath away with wonder, as one of the characters comments for herself. The synopsis does not do justice to the stately and beguiling way this tale is told - the shocks and surprises are never gratuitous and the happy ever after ...? Well, that would be telling. Emily Mortimer conveys the paralysis of fear and yearning without any showiness, the spare and well-crafted dialogue tells us a little less than we would like to know, but the suspense is not unpleasant. The supporting players have colour and substance and the man who agrees play the part of Frankie's dad, is portrayed with heart-breaking restraint by Gerard Butler, who after his showier role in 'Phantom of the Opera' demonstrates that his has real and effective range. But the boy is a wonder of subtlety and sincerity. A lovely film.
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