Written by Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan, based upon the book by Christy Brown
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Fiona Shaw, Hugh O’Conor
- “The Real Christy Brown” featurette
- Making-of featurette
- Still gallery
Released by: Miramax.
My Advice: At least rent it.
Lots of people are born with the odds stacked against them. Christy Brown (O’Conor as a youth, Day-Lewis as an adult) had them stacked up to the point where they pretty much tipped over. Born into a very large and very poor Irish working class family, Brown is stricken with palsy so severe that he’s basically trapped in his own body. He’s got no way to express himself and is, well, written off by everyone but his mother (Fricker). However, he is able to muster control of his left foot enough to be able to write, and eventually paint and type. It is through flat out determination that he’s able to come to terms with his affliction and transcend it to be recognized as an accomplished artist and author.
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The main bit of the bonuses are two featurettes. One covers the real Christy Brown, which is short, but nice: and probably the only exposure any of us are going to get to him other than the movie, seeing as how his book is out of print now. There’s also a retrospective talking with folks ten years later, including O’Conor. It’s worth watching, as we get interesting stories about how Day-Lewis stayed in character even between takes and actually broke ribs, he was so into it.
There’s a selection of reviews of the film, which is…puzzling. We know the film is worth watching, otherwise why do we have the DVD in our homes? Do we really need the point driven home like this? Seems kind of self-serving and pointless, honestly. Beyond that, there’s just a still gallery.
Of course there’s room for improvement here. An audio commentary would be ideal, as would expanded making-of and retrospective features, including the present-day involvement of Day-Lewis and Fricker. But this release is an improvement over the last one, so we won’t argue too terribly. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s worth at least a rental, since Day-Lewis’ performance is positively amazing.