Film Greats: Jim Sheridan’s “My Left Foot” (1989)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Edwin Pereyra, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Films whose subject matter are based on a real life person have a choice of both telling the truth and getting it right or do just the opposite. My Left Foot is one of those fact based films that confronts the harsh realities of its subject matter and portray them as they are.
    The film tells the life of Christy Brown – a genius. He came from a poor Irish family. He was a painter, a poet and a novelist. But he also had cerebral palsy and Christy’s left foot is the only part of his body which he had control of. Christy was also a difficult person. He was stubborn and arrogant and most of all, he was an alcoholic, which made him vulgar and at times, a very hard person to deal and live with.
    Daniel Day-Lewis plays the older Christy Brown while Hugh O’Conor portrayed him in the childhood years. Both of these performances are outstanding. Brenda Fricker also stars as Christy’s mom. Lewis and Fricker won the Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively, for their performances. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
    There are so many memorable scenes in this film including the first time the young Christy is able to pick up a chalk and write with his left foot. Another is a heartbreaking scene were Christy would finally find out how he misinterpreted his speech therapist’s feelings for him as they were anything but romantic. And then there were the moments of happiness with Christy playing soccer with his brothers and neighborhood kids and being taken around on a wheelbarrow. Watching this film, one actually goes through an entire gamut of emotions.
    My Left Foot tells it like it is and is all the more special because of it. Unlike a certain film released late last year based also on another real life genius, this film is not afraid to tell the negative aspects of its subject. In my judgment, there is no comparison and that this film is the more worthy. Based on Christy Brown’s autobiographical novel, My Left Foot is a powerful, courageous and memorable film.
    When it comes down to fact based films, realism does matter. They have more heart.
    - - -
    Film Greats – A continuing quick look at motion pictures that, in one way or another, have been called “great films” by some. Other Films In This Series: D. W. Griffith’s Broken Blossoms : Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men : Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend : Rankin/Bass’ The Year Without A Santa Claus
    ~Edwin
     
  2. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    The return of the "Film Greats". Hooray![​IMG]
    I agree Edwin. My Left Foot is an excellent film with extraordiary performances. It was a moving, emotionally draining film.
    I agree with your comment regarding Hugh O'Conor. He was amazing as the young Christy and unfortunately was not even nominated for a supporting actor Oscar.
    Highly recommended.[​IMG]
     
  3. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Edwin,

    Your brief synopsis of this film has reminded me how much I want to see this film. I had forgotten about this film for so long now. I have never seen it, and I am really looking forward to it.

    On a side note: I have a brother who has Cerebral Palsy. He is 21 years old and confined to a wheelchair. Myself and my family have known many highs and lows throughout the years. I am sure that this film we help me live again the many memories of joy and failure that I have had growing up with my brother. I, though, would not trade him in (so to say) for anything in the world.
     
  4. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  5. Dave_P

    Dave_P Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Edwin,

    He's a pretty special guy(no pun intended). I get very emotional around people with disabilities when I notice them. I've watched my brother try to do things that he is not physically capable of doing. It puts your whole life into perspective. When he does accompish something, the joy and happiness on his face is priceless. I wish everyone could feel the emotions you go through in moments like these. They are truly some of the defining memories that have made me into the person I am today.
     
  6. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Watching Hugh O'Conor for the very first time, I really thought he had cerebral palsy. He was really that remarkable. The acting transition from O'Conor as the young Christy to Lewis as the adult Christy was a smooth one.

    ~Edwin
     
  7. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    I thought the film was staggering in its realism. It is, at times, quite difficult to watch and at others, quite stirring. The beauty of it is that none of it comes off as contrived or melodramatic.

    Dave,

    Since you have a first-hand knowledge of this film, I think you are going to be twice as blessed to see it.

    Bruce
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Thanks, Edwin.

    It's one of my favourites.

    Cees
     

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