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Dear Frankie

Category: Dear Frankie Reviews
Article Date: January 24, 2005 | Publication: The Independent Voice Student | Author: Julie Balazs

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Shona Auerbach

It is often easier to perpetuate a lie, even one rapidly spinning out of control, than to tell the truth. An unfortunate state of affairs, but without which there would be no premise for this lovely film.

Frankie Morrison has spent most of his young life moving with his mother, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer), who has never told him that they are running from his abusive father. To give him a sense of stability Lizzie writes to Frankie (Jack McElhone) in the guise of his sailor Ďdadí. When Frankie reads in the newspaper that his dadís ship will soon be docking in Glasgow, Lizzie has a choice: tell Frankie the truth about his father, or find someone to play him for a day. She opts for the fake father - enter The Stranger (Gerard Butler).

Mortimer gives a convincing performance as a woman whose fierce protectiveness of her son hides a deep-rooted fear that manifests as constant nervousness. Butlerís intensely appealing stranger is a strong, silent type - rather like Gerard Butler, actually.

Director Shona Auerbach does her best with a flawed script. It is disappointingly predictable and deals poorly with an awkward, morally ambiguous subplot involving Frankieís biological father. However what could have been a dull film becomes lyrical in her capable hands as she accentuates the film with panoramic shots of Greenock.

Despite a subtle undertone of sadness that runs throughout, Auerbach doesnít let it wallow or preach and gives us a charming, undemanding film.


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