Monday, September 12, 2011
My Left Foot - 1989
Daniel Day-Lewis can out-act any chump in Hollywood! (with a couple notable exceptions to that blanket statement)
Many of us have come to know, admire, fear, or respect Mr. Day-Lewis for his impressive performances in movies like There Will Be Blood. But, 22 years ago, he gave an Oscar-winning portrayal based on the real life story of Christy Brown, a young Irish artist/author born in the 1930's with Cerebral Palsy.
If you have ever known, met, or seen a person with cerebral palsy, you will be absolutely floored by his performance. Told in flashbacks, you get to see his journey from a young man incapable of communicating with his family to an adult who has mastered painting, writing, speech, and the consumption of whiskey(like any good stereotypical Irishman). He so flawlessly mimics the speech and motion of a person with cerebral palsy that it is easy to forget that he is a healthy man with full control of his faculties.
The pace of the movie is on the slow side, but the amazing acting by the entire cast more than makes up for the occasional lull in the plot. I was also taken aback by the love, acceptance and involvement of his entire family. Even in today's "enlightened society" there is a whole lot less love to go around for people who are different from ourselves. There are many touching scenes where family members proudly show that Christy is not an incidental member of their family, but a key, critical, loved part of the whole.
If good acting is your cup o' tea, you should see this movie.
If you want a director like Michael Bay to blow up Dublin 6 ways to Sunday, you should watch something else (and kindly don't breed)