Thursday, August 26, 2010

#172 My Left Foot (1989)


Director: Jim Sheridan

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan, Declan Crohgen

Day-Lewis is one of my favorite actors, and he absolutely astounds in this touching true-life tale of Irishman Christy Brown-- a man born trapped in a body he could not control. Assumed to be mentally-retarded throughout his childhood, Brown eventually manages to show his family that he is not only intelligent, but that he also has artistic talent--all through the use of his left foot, the only part of his body he can control and communicate with. Christy suffers from cerebral palsy, and the film outlines his own and his poor Irish family's struggle with the disease.

Of course, the most unbelievable aspect of this film is the acting, and rightfully so-- it won two Oscars for it. One went to Day-Lewis for best actor, and another went to Brenda Fricker who played Brown's mother. These two actors absolutely stole the show, and as far as I'm concerned... there were other people in the movie?

It is said that Day-Lewis was so "into" his character, that he often refused to come out of it on the set, forcing his cast-mates to help him with food. He even broke two ribs during film-making due to the convulsions he performed in his wheelchair!

The film takes a subject-matter which seems it has no chance but to go for the sad-turned-hopeful angle, and instead it goes down another surprising road. The film is humorous and thoughtful. It is more about relationships than about depression, and that is what made it such a surprising and delightful viewing experience.

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