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 »
Though set in Dublin, all the establishing shots clearly show the city of Cork which bears no resemblance to Dublin. See more »
This is the story of how Desmond Doyle fought the Irish government to have his children (Evelyn, Dermot, and Maurice) released back into his custody. After his wife desserts him, leaving behind the children also, the government takes his children until such a time as the unmarried, currently unemployed Desi "can improve his circumstances". Much to his naive and broken heart's dismay, he later realizes that once the government has them, it intends to keep them from living in a paternal, one parent home. It tells the story of this man's journey becoming a better man and father. It also tells the story of the incidents behind the over turning of an unconstitutional law which had never been successfully challenged. Played brilliantly by Pierce Brosnan (who was born in Ireland) with Alan Bates taking on the role of the ex-barrister (retired) who changed the course of Irish family history. Sophie Vavasseur does an excellent job in the title role of Evelyn. Not over played or pretentious, this is a quiet must see for those who like to see real life with some happy endings.
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