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My Left Foot Movie Review

lewis day film actor

Daniel Day-Lewis was a sure bet for an Academy Award from the instant audiences first saw him as Christy Brown. My Left Foot, a splendid film written and directed by Jim Sheridan, is based on the book by Brown, who refused to let a major obstacle like cerebral palsy prevent him from achieving recognition as an artist and a writer. The key to Brown's success, the film makes clear, is largely due to the efforts of his loving, no-nonsense Irish mother, briskly played by Oscar winner Brenda Fricker. Brown grew up in a large, rambunctious family who included him in every group activity. The Browns are dirt poor, headed by a boozy and often harsh father (subtly played by the late Ray McAnally). Nonetheless, Brown receives constant encouragement and plenty of love until finally he finds a way to communicate with his left foot. Later, he receives speech lessons and artistic encouragement from Dr. Eileen Cole (sympathetically portrayed by Fiona Shaw) who helps to organize his first one-man show. Later, he initiates a wholehearted romantic pursuit of his attractive nurse Mary (Ruth McCabe, in a devilish performance). The whole story, which might have been pure goo in the hands of a sentimental director, is presented with matter-of-fact vigor by Day-Lewis and director Sheridan. Many of the best and funniest lines in this delightful movie are unquotable and you'll want to discover them for yourselves, anyway.

1989 (R) 103m/C IR Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Ray McAnally, Cyril Cusack, Fiona Shaw, Hugh O'Conor, Adrian Dunbar, Ruth McCabe, Alison Whelan; D: Jim Sheridan; W: Shane Connaughton, Jim Sheridan; C: Jack Conroy; M: Elmer Bernstein. Academy Awards ‘89: Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Fricker); British Academy Awards ‘89: Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actor (McAnally); Independent Spirit Awards ‘90: Best Foreign Film; Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards ‘89: Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Fricker); Montreal World Film Festival ‘89: Best Actor (Day-Lewis); New York Film Critics Awards ‘89: Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Best Film; National Society of Film Critics Awards ‘89: Best Actor (Day-Lewis); Nominations: Academy Awards ‘89: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director (Sheridan), Best Picture. VHS, LV, Closed Caption, DVD

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