7.9/10
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90 user 49 critic

My Left Foot (1989)

My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (original title)
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1:17 | Trailer

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Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director:

Jim Sheridan

Writers:

Shane Connaughton (screenplay), Jim Sheridan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,598 ( 350)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Christy Brown
Brenda Fricker ... Mrs. Brown
Alison Whelan Alison Whelan ... Sheila
Kirsten Sheridan ... Sharon
Declan Croghan ... Tom
Eanna MacLiam Eanna MacLiam ... Benny
Marie Conmee Marie Conmee ... Sadie
Cyril Cusack ... Lord Castlewelland
Phelim Drew Phelim Drew ... Brian
Ruth McCabe ... Mary
Fiona Shaw ... Dr. Eileen Cole
Ray McAnally ... Mr. Brown
Pat Laffan ... Barman (as Patrick Laffan)
Derry Power Derry Power ... Customer in Bar
Hugh O'Conor ... Young Christy Brown
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Storyline

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 Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A film about life, laughter, and the occasional miracle.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Ireland | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

My Left Foot See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,743,391
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is the only film ever to get an A+ rating from Entertainment Weekly. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[reading a speech Christy has written]
Lord Castlewelland: "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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in Oscar's Greatest Moments (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Birthday
(uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's the Daniel Day-Lewis show!!
11 December 2013 | by Jafar IqbalSee all my reviews

'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.


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