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Evelyn (PG)



Review: Katherine Kaminsky | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentaries with Pierce Brosnan and Bruce Beresford; Behind the scenes featurette; 'Story Behind The Story' featurette; Theatrical trailer.

ALTHOUGH called Evelyn, this film really centres around her father, Desmond Doyle. Based on the 1953 groundbreaking court case, Evelyn tells the true story of Desmond Doyle's struggle to raise his three children alone.

Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) is abandoned by his wife and, with no job prospects and an escalating drink problem, his children are taken into care. The two boys are sent to an orphanage, while Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur) has to bravely deal with life in a strict convent with an unhinged nun.

Doyle gets himself a decorating job during the day and, with the support of his father, sings in a pub band at night, determined to be reunited with his children.

Bernadette Beattie (Julianna Margulies) is working as a barmaid at her uncle's pub and is so impressed by his determination, she introduces Doyle to her brother, Michael (Stephen Rea), who is a solicitor.

 

Through this association, American lawyer, Nick Barron (Aidan Quinn), and his mentor, Tom Connolly (Alan Bates), are brought on board Doyle's case. The four embark to challenge the law using the Irish constitution and take the Minister of Education to court.

At first, this appears to be a hopeless trial, but as Doyle battles against the odds, he gains more support and media attention until the fight for his family becomes a fight for justice and a father's love.

Writer, Paul Pender, charmingly tells this story with enough humour to balance out the pulling of heart strings.

The strong cast is also good, with a sweet subplot revolving around Bernadette, Doyle and Barron and a fun cameo from Alan Bates.

The big prize must go, however, to director, Bruce Beresford, for bringing such a sensitive performance out of Sophie Vavasseurs, Evelyn, without being overly sentimental.

Irish Dream Time, Pierce Brosnan's own production company, which was also responsible for the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, among others, is responsible for this film. The result is a sweet testament to a life changing event that has since changed many lives.

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