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Dear Frankie More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: misstyc-1 from United States
25 April 2005

I really liked this movie because it's a lovely story of ordinary people not overrun with needless dialog. Much better than my expectations, and leaves you with a positive, hopeful feeling. I love that Frankie has such a good sense of humor, and he exhibits it subtly. I just wish it had more exposure in America than it has, as it's wonderfully written and acted by all. I originally wanted to see it because of Gerard Butler, but everyone, including Mr. Butler, turns in a fine turn of acting. I would recommend this for anyone, including children, for the positive messages it sets forth. Who couldn't use a little positive influences these days, no matter where you live?

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Delightful Film

Author: laura-pawlak from United States
21 April 2005

A touching and wonderful film that was an absolute pleasure to watch. The scenery was beautiful, the interaction of the film's characters was heartfelt, and the plot uniquely original. It was difficult, however, to locate theaters where Dear Frankie was playing.I can't imagine why it was released on such a limited basis, especially considering the tremendous fan base Gerard Butler has developed since his remarkable portrayal of the Phantom of the Opera. In this movie, Butler does deliver an especially poignant performance as the Stranger who stands in for 9-year old Frankie's father. This movie was such an refreshing change from the overdone special effects, noise, and lack of story-line in so many productions today. I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates cinema at it's best!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A simply gorgeous film

Author: Kelly Brereton from United States
11 April 2005

I was left floored by this film. I have never witnessed such a stunningly simple film that was so predictable with such excellent characters and writing that made me feel so hopeful. The performances were like watching real life with a depth so uncanny that the characters were embedded into my heart in the first ten minutes. The portrayal of Frankie was exquisite! This child's eyes tell this story better than the letters. He is captured brilliantly and supports the whole cast. I think the film should be released on a wider scale and given a chance to be seen by everyone. Shona Auerbach has created a masterpiece. A classic in the making!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Best Dramatic Movie I've seen in a while

Author: livekismet from United States
4 April 2005

It's not very often you watch a movie that transcends over the screen and brings you in. Dear Frankie did that for me and for the people that I initially dragged to the theatre to go see it with me.

It's not overtly sentimental or constantly hitting you with one liners. It's true dialogue. Even the dirt under the finger nails was perfect. The scriptwriter should get a nomination, no doubt! Then there's the goodness! Everyone should stand up and give these people their due credit. The whole cast...phenomenal. Emily Mortimer, wow! She made you feel the character was someone you knew and would care about what happened to her. Gerard Butler...not to say I didn't expect him to be good, but to be that heartfelt and masculine. The little boy who played Frankie, so good. You just wanted to hug him. Everyone was fantastic.

I suggest going to see this movie. I saw it twice and usually I'll just wait for it to come out on video after the first time, but I couldn't wait. I had to see it again. You won't be disappointed.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Dear Frankie, on its Way to Your Heart

Author: callmomrad from United States
25 March 2005

This quiet little film from Scotland is impossible not to like, as it observes without judging the interplay between a struggling single mom and her deaf son, and the stranger she has drawn in to support a lie she has perpetrated in order to protect him.

Much to the chagrin of her more practical mother, Lizzie has concocted a full-blown fantasy of a romantic sailor and maritime adventures to explain the physical lack of a father in Frankie's life. She took the name ACCRA from a stamp and has the boy track this imaginary ship and write letters to a PO Box, which she then collects herself and answers in the absent father's name. Predictably, a ship by that name comes into port one day, and Lizzie, rather than dash her son's carefully-protected beliefs, chooses a stranger to stand in for the prodigal dad for 24 hours.

Emily Mortimer portrays the selfless mom with a matter-of-factness that precludes any semblance of cloying sentimentality. Her all-too-familiar plight does not pigeon-hole her as a victim, but rather allows her to be the hero of her own story. And Jack MacElhone plays her 9-year-old son with such guileless directness and humor that there is simply no feeling sorry for him.

The heart of the movie, however, is in the developing relationship between Frankie and the Stranger, aptly played by Gerard Butler, last seen emoting spectacularly as the Phantom of the Opera in a tour de force of song and angst. Here, in a very restrained and nuanced performance, Mr. Butler manages to establish such a strong presence that it is literally palpable even when his character is off-screen. Frankie blossoms at the inclusion of a tangible father figure in his life, and he and the Stranger manage to convey a depth of emotion without resorting to dialogue. This is a subtle form of acting by implication.

This is Shona Auerbach's directorial debut, and it is an auspicious one. Her background in still photography is evident in the gorgeous cinematography, but it is the simple story-telling and the characters that drive the film. Dear Frankie avoids the platitudes and pitfalls of a potentially overwrought theme and provides fresh insights in an almost casual manner. We can only hope that Ms. Auerbach will continue to shed her clear and sympathetic light on other social issues in future films.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

More, More, More...

Author: keltz53 from South Jersey, USA
14 March 2005

If you are interested in fast-paced vacuous dialog &/or shaky, edgy camera work, go rent something by Steven Soderbergh. If, however, your taste runs to gentle, almost hypnotic story telling, shot with subtle realism, this one's for you. Add to the mix performances through which the characters engage us as well as one another, & voilà! This is what good independent films are all about. Lizzie Morrison (Emily Mortimer), her mother (Mary Riggans), & especially her deaf, wise-beyond-his-years, son, Frankie (Jack McElhone) virtually charm us into their world. Then the Stranger (Ger Butler) enters - after 45 minutes - to finish us off. We are completely theirs to be done with as they will. Dear Frankie has it all: there is love - on many levels; there is pathos; there is humor; there is a wee surprise. Shocking for these days, the only thing wrong with this film is that it's a good five or ten minutes too short. Ms. Auerbach leaves us wanting more. You're left hungry to 'hear' again from her clever little Jack, not to mention gaze again into those spell-binding green eyes of Butler's.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Heartwarming film

Author: MelanieG6 from Chicago 'burbs
13 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just saw this beautiful small independent film. The story could have become too sappy, but the director deftly kept it from going over that edge. All the actors were superb. The fact that the child was deaf, somehow gave the expressions and small nuances of movement from the other actors more weight. I left with tears running down my cheeks, but also a smile on my face. Loved the hopeful ending and the fact that questions were still left unanswered.

The actor who plays the child, Jack McElhone speaks only a few words in the whole film, but acts wonderfully for such a young child. Doesn't overact as some child actors do. Emily Mortimer plays a mother who finds it difficult to open up and trust anyone. I especially loved her scene where the children get into her things in her closet. Gerard Butler gives a wonderful rough edged performance. You see him slowly open up to this young boy. I loved his subtle expressions and how he conveyed so much without words. I just lost is in the scene where Frankie's mother tells The Stranger how Frankie became deaf. I looked around at the end of the film, and I wasn't the only one wiping tears.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Dear Frankie

Author: paristeri from United States
7 March 2005

Hollywood needs to take notice of the subtlety and understatement in this film and how well it works..Perfectly cast and beautifully shot this movie is a GEM - that I hope more audiences can enjoy than just select cities..It led me to go out and buy other movies with Emily Mortimer, I've Lovely and Amazing, Young Adam.. I already had been following Gerry Butler's career since his awesome performance in Phantom of the Opera.. The cinematography certainly adds Scotland to my need to go there list. I understand this film was well received at Cannes and some of the other Art Festivals..It really makes me curious to follow Independent Films with more interest..

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: tdcheck from United Kingdom
14 January 2005

Had heard about the awards this film had received and wasn't sure what to expect. I only wanted to support the film as I am a huge fan of Gerard Butler.

I loved every minute of the film - took me through a whole range of emotions. All the main characters are able to portray their feelings, from their actions and expressions - words were hardly needed.

The story is a little different - and you really feel for Frankie's mother. There are some funny moments - and some heart wrenching ones. I got so into the story, it really pulls you in.

I saw this when it was being shown as a one off, and I can't wait for the general release - I will be seeing it again and taking lots of friends with me!

I recommend to anyone to see this film - it should appeal to most. It is well worth seeing.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful and Touching

Author: keys2494 from Australia
17 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Growing up without a parent is an experience many people go through. Society crumbles with 1 in 3 marriages ending in divorce resulting anger and hurt. What would you do for love? Dear Frankie is a touching film about a mothers choice to keep up a charade of writing fake letters to her deaf son Frankie pretending to be his father away at sea. Being deaf, the mother, Lizzie (Mortimer)finds it hard to communicate with her son. The intimacy that would normally take place of discovering who her son 'really is' is blocked by a communication barrier. The myth of Frankie's father being a sailor on the ship ACCRA is keeping life stable until Frankie discovers the ACCRA is coming into the local port. Lizzie is conflicted with emotion and goes out to find an unsuspecting bachelor to play Frankie's dad for a day (Butler).

A amazing effort by first time feature film director Shona Auerbach. This film is a treat. Praised at Cannes, Tribeca Film Festival, and winner of Best Picture at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Dear Frankie is touching and intellectually involving. Emily Mortimer performs excellently as Lizzie Morrison. Her performance told the story of a conflicted and confused mother. Her character was so shielded and so afraid of letting someone in. Gerard Butler is a great actor and his presence is notable in every one of his films. His uncanny ability to have a presence in a room or scene is clear in this film. The Stranger is a man who you never really discover anything about. His character is formed through your own perceptions, but no doubt is a man of solitude but has a great capacity for love.

Dear Frankie is a lovely film, but can be frustratingly slow. This may be have been done to increase some form of tension (some circumstances successfully), but was irritating through certain parts of the film. However, I do say certain parts. One of the great aspects of the film is when they actually get this effect right. I was there screaming at the television with raw emotion for the plight of the characters. Nevertheless, attempting to get this effect too often caused the movie in some areas to be slow and arduous. Shona Auerbach clearly made a fantastic effort on this film and it is evident she has a talent for film making. Time will do the trick.

Dear Frankie is a touching and memorable film. I would recommend this film to those who are willing to delve into the characters. I wouldn't recommend this movie to people who are easily bored with lack of concentration. This film is worth seeing and was enjoyable and emotionally tangible.

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