Saturday, January 31, 2009


"Millions" is a fantastic family film, one of the greatest achievements in children's filmmaking that I've seen in a long time. Danny Boyle, known mostly for his gross-out work in "28 Days Later," his heroin-addiction film "Trainspotting," and most recently, his uplifting, fast-paced "Slumdog Millionaire," shows that he can make films for all ages. His film is witty and truthful about many things, money most prominently. Frank Cottel Boyce adapts his own book here, and he makes sure none of the charm is lost. If anything, the screen version is better. "Millions" follows two brothers named Damien (Alex Etel) and Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) who's mother has died and their father (James Nesbitt) is having to manage their lives and having to keep them at middle-class level. Damien is a wonderfully rounded character, especially in the facet that he can speak to saints. These sequences are some of the biggest fruits of the film. Anyways, Damien happens to be watching trains when a large sum of money in a bag drops from a train. Damien lets Anthony in on the secret. Of course, there is conflict over the spending. Damien wants to help the poor, and in many instances, he does. Anthony is more caught up all the status symbols that the X-Gen is into. He wants to spend the money and make connections at school. Another problem: in a few days, the Euro will become the new currency of Europe. This heightens the anxiety. This is all very well done. There was only one subplot I didn't really enjoy: that was of the unidentified Man (Christopher Fulford) who gives the film a bitter edge. He threatens Damien over the money. See, he was stealing it, and the kid got his hands on it. This is the part where Boyle doesn't direct with the strongest of hands. He does tune this out well, though, and towards the end redeems himself with a series of uplifting episodes that warm our hearts, minds, and bodies. Boyle taps into a vein that he rarely does, and it works spectacularly. He realizes all of the book's joys, and adapts them into the film. One of my personal favorite scenes was that of the Nativity play director, played by Boyce, the screenwriter, himself. The cameo is a delight in a film full of them. Everyone can see this powerful, striking, and beautiful movie. A

1 comment:

aspergiansarah said...

This movie was kind of cute. I especially liked the ending. Overly sappy at times, and young Anthony's raging, wide-eyed morality was a bit much at times, but I had to remember both he and the film had their hearts in the right place.

The box house the kid made in the beginning was awesome. Also the atmosphere gained from seeing it from Anthony's perspective was intriguing, but a huge landmark in children's films-? ah, not in my opinion. I'd watch it again though.