6.9/10
19,699
220 user 58 critic

Simon Birch (1998)

A young boy with stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him.

Writers:

Mark Steven Johnson (screenplay), John Irving (novel)

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ON DISC
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Mazzello ... Joe Wenteworth
Ashley Judd ... Rebecca Wenteworth
Oliver Platt ... Ben Goodrich
David Strathairn ... Rev. Russell
Dana Ivey ... Grandmother Wenteworth
Ian Michael Smith ... Simon Birch
Beatrice Winde Beatrice Winde ... Hilde Grove
Jan Hooks ... Miss Leavey
Cecilley Carroll Cecilley Carroll ... Marjorie
Sumela Kay ... Ann (as Sumela-Rose Keramidopulos)
Sam Morton Sam Morton ... Stuart
Jim Carrey ... Adult Joe Wenteworth
John Mazzello John Mazzello ... Simon Wenteworth
Holly Dennison Holly Dennison ... Mrs. Birch
Peter MacNeill ... Mr. Birch
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Storyline

Simon Birch tells the story of Joe and Simon's heart-warming journey of friendship. Simon Birch was born with a condition that makes him much smaller than all the other kids in town. Now, due to his condition, Simon thinks God made him this way for a reason and highly believes in God. Together, Joe and Simon go on a journey of trust and friendship to find the answers to many things. Their friendship is put to the test when some unfortunate events happen. Written by Thorpe89

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Destiny has big plans for little Simon Birch.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, emotional thematic elements, and an accident scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Prayer for Owen Meany See more »

Filming Locations:

Elora, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,321,370, 13 September 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$18,252,684, 27 December 1998
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jan Hooks (Ms. Leavey) and Jim Carrey (Adult Joe Wentworth) have both previously appeared in Burton/Schumacher Batman movies. Hooks had a cameo as Jen, one of Max Schreck's (Christopher Walken) image consultants in Tim Burton's Batman Returns and Carrey played Dr. Edward Nygma/The Riddler in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever. Writer and Director Mark Steven Johnson wrote Jack Frost (1998) which starred Batman actor Michael Keaton and five years later would go on to write and direct Daredevil (2003) which is based on the Marvel superhero. Daredevil (2003) also starred Ben Afleck who is now going to star as Batman in Batman Vs. Superman (2016). See more »

Goofs

A shot at 83:52 shows the door of the bus being closed but the next shot (at around 56 mins) shows the door open. See more »

Quotes

Joe: I have faith. I just need proof to back it up.
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Connections

Referenced in HBO First Look: The Making of 'The Mexican' (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

It's All Right
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by The Impressions
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Delicately balanced
3 March 2003 | by stefan-144See all my reviews

A film of many charming features, indeed, but what struck me as the most impressive quality of it, was its delicate balance between comedy and tragedy. Strolling ahead on a tight rope, with abyss on either side - that of despair and that of burlesque - and never falling. It even succeeds in a most daring balance between pity and parody.

Portraying a boy with such a severe physical handicap, and with terrible parents at that, would normally tie any director's hands and feet, and the result would be sweet, at best. In this film, though, we are even allowed to smile at the odd clashes between the normal and that which is not, and laugh at the situation comedy evolving. The result is endearing, truly compassionate.

And the acting is tremendous, especially from Joseph Mazzello and Ian Michael Smith, the two boys in a very odd couple friendship. Mazzello is breathtaking in scenes of such emotional complexity that most actors would be wise to find an easy way out. I have no idea how he does it, but certainly it is by talent - no schooling gives that kind of tools.

The plot is overly complex, with several 'deus ex machina' events uncalled for, et cetera - probably in fear that the skilled balance of the film and the nerve of the acting would not suffice. But they do, and then some.


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