1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment, and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children...
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1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment, and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children, Evelyn, Dermot, and Maurice, make it clear to the authorities that his is an untenable situation. The Irish courts put the Doyle children into Church-run orphanages. Although a sympathetic judge assures Desmond that he'll get his children back after he gets a job, he learns there's another barrier. During that time, Evelyn suffers abuse, while Desmond goes to court to get his children back. A barmaid, her brother, her suitor, and a tippling footballer become Desmond's team.
Several decades later, widespread shocking revelations and allegations about the extent of the abuse of children in the care of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, during this time in the 1950s, among other decades, and religious organizations, have since given this film a much darker undercurrent than originally intended. See more »
In the scene when Desmond is cutting out the pictures of his wife, he cuts their wedding photo diagonally, so that her body remains in the photo. In the next scene, he throws the same photo into the fire, but this time it's been cut vertically - completely out of the photo. See more »
Possibly you're a cynic and think the blarney is laid on too abundantly in this movie. Or you might be calling it "O'Kramer vs. O'Kramer" and this isn't too sappy and predictable to be taken seriously. Well, guess what, it is, and I loved every minute.
Pierce Brosnan, who I used to consider a cardboard cut-out of an actor, plays Desmond Doyle. He's fantastic as a father whose daughter and two sons are removed from their home by the government after their Mother ( in this case, the term can be used in the biological sense only) abandons the family. This being Ireland in the 1950s, there was a law that stated the government can intervene when one parent is found to be insufficient. Desmond has to quit drinking, deal with the death of his father, find a lawyer and rarely see his kids.
Its all okay at the end, and I have to mention that I hope the children's Mother and a certain Sister Bridget have the thankless job of eating ---- in hell for all eternity.
Worth mentioning from the cast is Alan Bates, a hard-drinking consultant to Doyle's case, and his wishes to hear (or not hear) a 'however' from the judges were hilarious.
I had a small problem with the fact that the Mother was not on trial, literally, because it was her abandonment of her family that led to them being separated.
Anyway, its a terrific movie. 8/10.
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