My Left Foot (1989)
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Editor's NoteDaniel Day-Lewis delivers a performance for the ages in this film based on DOWN ALL THE DAYS, the autobiography of Christy Brown, who overcame severe physical limitations to become an accomplished painter and writer. The film describes the astounding arc of Brown's life, starting with a childhood in which his debilitating cerebral palsy causes everyone but his mother to believe he is brain-damaged. Brown begins to shatter this perception by using his left foot and a piece of chalk to scrawl a one-word message on the floor to his mother. Though Brown's subsequent growth into an artist of great profundity is nothing short of miraculous, he is never presented in the film as anything more nor less than human. Director Jim Sheridan contributes to a fully three-dimensional portrait of the artist by showing such things as Brown playing soccer with his brothers, experiencing the sting of unrequited love, and battling alcoholism. Day-Lewis, in an Academy Award-winning performance, brilliantly captures the wicked genius of Brown's mind as he observes the tone and timbre of his local Ireland with courage and determination. His physical characterization of Brown's condition, portrayed with remarkably little sentimentality, is absolutely astounding. A first-rate ensemble cast includes Hugh O'Connor as young Christy and Brenda Fricker (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar) and Ray McAnally as his devoted parents.
Cast & Crew
|Jim Sheridan - Director|
Plot SummaryBased on the life of Christy Brown, the Irish painter and author who was born with severe cerebral palsy, leaving him almost completely paralyzed. Brown was forced to communicate and work by writing and drawing with a pencil gripped in his left foot. The film is told in flashback as Christy's nurse reads his autobiography which follows him through his early life, when only his mother believed he could be anything more than a vegetable, to his childhood games with his brothers on the Dublin streets, to his devastating crush on his speech teacher.