Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Movie Review - Millions
Directed by Danny Boyle

This movie is about as far removed from Trainspotting as Lyndsay Lohan from a buffet.

Millions tells the story of seven year-old Damian, his older brother Anthony and their father who have moved to a brand new housing estate and school following the death of their mother.

Young Damian is about aged 7 who possesses the imagination of Roald Dahl and the wisdom of Solomon. The actor who plays him - with the suitably groovy name of Alex Etel - is fantastic and his adorable freckles deserve to be included separately in the credits. He makes a vintage Macaulay Culkin look about as endearing as syphilis.

Damian happily assembles a cubby house near the train tracks out of the moving boxes and one day finds a huge bag of money flung out of the sky and onto its roof. He believes it's a gift from God; his more practical brother believes it's a gift worth keeping secret from his father "Because of tax" and a gift worth spending in the final days before England reverts to the Euro.

The film is a visual delight with a hyper-realistic focus on every day things such as the construction of their new home, the joys of a cardboard cubby and the school in a quasi Edward Scissorhands/Heavenly Creatures style. The world is seen as a relatively friendly place, even though the cash is being sought by a rather unsavoury character. Imaginary saints visit young Damian every now and then to offer advice and to reinforce his wish to do something good with the money.

The two brothers are stunning in their roles and carry the weight of their screen time with ease. Good old James Nesbitt - the UK's version of Bill Hunter when it comes to appearances in his motherland's movies - is as solid as ever as the father. However the actress (Daisy Donovan) playing the father's love interest wasn't particularly convincing. Her role was the least developed and did not contribute anything additional to the story. It also appeared as though a few of her scenes had been edited out because one minute she was talking to their father in the carpark and then she was a part of their cosy little blended family.

That minor quibble was immediately forgiven thanks to the very end scene which left me with tears in my eyes at the surprisingly happy conclusion. This movie will certainly do a lot to increase donations for worthy charities in addition to providing a magical two hour adult fairytale.

1 comment:

deepkickgirl said...

Have been wanting to see this film. We have some babysitting time on Saturday night so will try to see a couple of films and catch up. Maybe "Millions" will be one of them. Loved the review.