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Dear Frankie (2004)
Stirs up bittersweet feelings...
I watched Dear Frankie last night and I absolutely had to write about it. This one is chock-a-block with emotion and intensity & will definitely tug at your heartstrings.
Director Shona Auerbach cultivates each character profoundly, and the performances of the central characters are tender, yet riveting.
Set in Glasgow, this movie tells the story of a doting young mother, Lizzie, trying to give her 9 year old son, Frankie, the father he never had over a series of letters. These letters, she writes herself, pretending to be his father, hoping to compensate for the fact that his father is not around for him. Writing as his father, she tells Frankie that his father, as a sailor aboard the ship ACCRA, has to travel a lot, and so would like to be in touch with his son through these letters.
Young Frankie truly believes his father is on board the ACCRA, and loves to read of his father's adventures at sea. And so this exchange of letters goes on Until one day Frankie hears the papers say the ACCRA is docking at Glasgow for a day. Lizzie's predicament leads her to find an almost stranger (Gerard Butler), an acquaintance of a friend of Lizzie's, to play the part of Frankie's dad for a day.
The deal is he plays Daddy for a day, she pays him. No questions asked.
The rest of the movie portrays the delicate bonds that Mother and Son form with this Stranger, over the course of the day. As Lizzie comes to terms with her tumultuous past marriage, we get to see the sensitive side of this stoic Stranger as well.
The hopeless romantic will no doubt hope that the Stranger stays on to be a part of Frankie and Lizzie's lives. Director Auerbach leaves that to the imagination of her audience.
P.S. The Stranger is yummy!