A man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease faces an epiphany when she transfers her affections to another man, Aubrey, a wheelchair-bound mute who also is a patient at the nursing home.
Following the tragic death of their five-year-old son Frankie, Irish couple Johnny and Sarah Sullivan and their remaining two offspring, 10 year old Christy Sullivan and 5 year old Ariel Sullivan, emigrate illegally to the United States via Canada with little in their pockets. Their final destination is Manhattan where Johnny hopes to work as a stage actor. They move into a unit in a run town tenement housed primarily with drug addicts, transvestites and one tenant coined "the man who screams". They do whatever they can to eke out a supportive family environment in this difficult situation, the support which ultimately extends to those around them, most specifically "the screamer" who turns out to be an African-American artist named Mateo with AIDS. But the memory of Frankie hangs over the family in good and bad ways, especially as Sarah learns she's pregnant. Christy, who records their life's goings-on with her beloved camcorder, believes that the angel of Frankie has granted her ...Written by
The child actors (Sarah Bolger and Emma Bolger) called "cut" and "action" in every scene. This was decided by the director and the girls early during filming, so that it would make the acting easier for them. See more »
In the shop in New York, a neon sign in the background reads "Take Away" which is actually the European phrase for take out food, and the sugar packets on the tables are tubes, which are also used mostly in Europe. See more »
There's some things you should wish for and some things you shouldn't. That's what my little brother Frankie told me. He told me I only had three wishes, and I looked into his eyes, and I don't know why I believed him.
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Arranged by El Son
Published by Extreme Music Library PLC
Courtesy of Extreme Music Library PLC See more »
Sweet and emotional though incomplete-feeling movie
Johnny, Sarah and their young daughters Christy and Ariel move to New York from Ireland. With barely any money they find an apartment in a run-down building that is overrun with drug addicts. Johnny, an actor, struggles to get a role and the family eke out an existence. Also hanging over them is the death of their son, Frankie. Then one day the little girls meet and befriend the mysterious, solitary neighbour, Mateo.
Written and directed by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In The Name Of The Father), the movie is a bitter-sweet experience. The trials and tribulations of an immigrant family struggling to make ends meet, mixed with the recent tragedy in their history and the complexity of the Mateo situation make for an emotional journey. The daughters also provide a sweet, innocent perspective to proceedings.
Yet it all feels underdone. The family's situation is not as grittily shown as we imagine it should be. The basic summary of this movie reminded me of another Irish movie, Angela's Ashes, and that was a harrowing journey, where no positive outcomes are assured, making for an incredibly interesting and engaging experience. This movie is too neat and non-confrontational to feel like there are any really negative plot developments ahead.
In addition, certain key aspects are not developed very well. We never really get to know Mateo well enough to feel totally engaged by his character. Even the Frankie story, possibly the most emotional aspect to the movie, feels it is in there to demand our emotional energy rather than earn it, and the conclusion to that feels a bit clumsy.
Can't fault the performances though. Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton put in solid performances as Johnny and Sarah, as does Djimon Hounsou as Mateo and Sarah and Emma Bolger steal the show as Christy and Ariel.
Overall: an interesting, emotional movie but far from perfect.
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