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, have since given this film a much darker undercurrent than originally intended. See more »
When Doyle and his legal team walk through Christchurch in Dublin, a block of modern late 1990's apartments are clearly visible in the background through the trees. See more »
Something totally different for actor Pierce Brosnan, and he makes the best of it in a terrific performance.
Desmond Doyle (Brosnan) is a poor Irish father, married with 3 children. His wife deserts him and as he has no finances, the state takes his loving children away and places the boys in one school and his daughter, Evelyn, in a convent.
His lovely daughter meets up with one kind nun but one so vicious played by a lady whose last name is Irvine. I haven't seen such cruelty displayed by a nun since Gladys Cooper in "The Song of Bernadette."
Brosnan, a house painter and part-time singer, shows tremendous depth in this role of a hard-drinking, heavy smoking individual whose love for his children transcends all.
He engages two attorneys played by Stephen Rea and Aidan Quinn to help him. In turn, they pursue another retired attorney, the late Alan Bates, who provides comic relief with his performance.
The picture focuses on the attempts of the attorneys to change Irish law that would allow one parent in such a situation to decide what's right for his child.
Irish eyes are certainly smiling on Doyle, he immediately touches the hearts of the people in his plain, sympathetic style. Heart-wrenching and a joy to view. Don't miss it.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this