When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home.
In the 1970s, a young trans woman, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age by leaving her Irish town for London, in part to look for her mother and in part because her gender identity is beyond the town's understanding.
A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
In Dublin, the crippled rebel Rory O'Shea moves to the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, affecting the lives of the residents. Rory is able to understand the unintelligible speech of Michael Connolly, who was left in the shelter by his prominent father many years ago due to his cerebral palsy, and they become close friends. Rory convinces Michael to move from Carrigmore to an apartment in Dublin, and they hire the gorgeous Siobhan to assist them. Living together with Rory, Michael faces a new world, finding friendship, love and freedom and learning to survive by his own. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What a unique and risky premise: two young men, both mentally astute but almost completely disabled with MS and cerebral palsy, leave the group home environment to get their own place in search of independence, romance and excitement. This is a story of friendship, love, and self-awareness. It has less to do with handicaps than with the development and growth of two unique and memorable characters.
Damien O'Donnell's directing keeps the story moving briskly, but it's James McAvoy as the eponymous Rory O'Shea who steals the show with his bravura performance and riveting screen presence, even though he's only acting with his face and two fingers. Steven Robinson is nearly as good as Michael Connelly, the MS patient who Damien befriends at the home. It really is hard to believe these two fine actors aren't truly paralyzed. (Some of the audience thought they were.) Romola Gorai is the most likable of the bunch (how politically incorrect!) as the blonde the boys meet in a bar and convince to become their paid caretaker.
O'Donnell manages to tell this story with extraordinary grace and humor. In the process, he shatters some of our expectations about the physically handicapped, while never forgetting to entertain us. Thank you, and bravo!
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