As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Christy Brown is born with cerebral palsy to a large, poor Irish family. His mother, Mrs. Brown, recognizes the intelligence and humanity in the lad everyone else regards as a vegetable. Eventually, Christy matures into a cantankerous artist who uses his dexterous left foot to write and paint.Written by
It is the only film ever to get an A+ rating from Entertainment Weekly. See more »
When Lord Castlewelland is reading from Christy's book his glasses are not on properly for part of the reading. The right ear piece slipped down off of his ear. See more »
[reading a speech Christy has written]
"I was born in the Rotunda Hospital on June the fifth, 1932. There were 22 children in all, of which 13 survived. It would not be true to say that I am no longer lonely. I have made myself articulate and understood to people in many parts of the world, and this is something we all wish to do whether we're crippled or not. Yet, like everyone else, I am acutely conscious sometimes of my own isolation, even in the midst of people. And I often give up hope of ...
See more »
'My Left Foot' is the remarkable story of Christy Brown, born into a working-class Irish family with cerebral palsy. Growing up in a life full of poverty and extreme prejudice, Christy defied everyone's expectations. Using his left foot, the only part of his body he had proper control over, the young man learned to write and paint.
I could spend this review talking about the film's excellent portrayal of working class Ireland, and the working class Irish family specifically. I could talk about how the film does a good job of showing how the attitudes towards Christy Brown changed as Ireland's own political landscape changed. I could probably also talk about the role of women in Christy's life, from his mother and sisters, to the loves in his life. All of these things are worthy of mention.
However, when talking about 'My Left Foot', there is one thing that stands out above everything else; that being Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis had already proved his acting chops in the excellent 'My Beautiful Laundrette, but it was this movie that put him on the map globally. And rightly so: he is absolutely fantastic as Christy Brown.
Acting is difficult at the best of times, when you're playing a fully-functioning human being. What Day-Lewis achieves, therefore, is even more admirable. It is an extremely effective and realistic portrayal of someone suffering from cerebral palsy, and the actor goes gung-ho with both the physicality expressiveness required for the role. It is a joy to watch.
An honourable mention also needs to go to Hugh O'Conor, who plays the younger Brown. I can only assume that it is even harder for a child to go through the rigours that the role requires, but O'Conor is brilliant. What makes the character difficult to play is that, in trying to make it look real physically, the emotion required can be lost. Both actors avoid that problem with what seems like relative ease: at no point does the efficacy or emotion of the moments falter.
All the other stuff mentioned above are worthy of talking about, if I intended to write a longer review. But for this small thing, I think it is more than enough to say that 'My Left Foot' deserves to be seen just for this landmark Daniel Day-Lewis performance. Whatever you may think of the film as a whole, or whether you care about the story of Christy Brown or not, it is secondary to the simple appreciation for an actor at the top of his game.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this