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THE WRITE STUFF TO HAVE YOU IN TEARS

Category: Dear Frankie Reviews
Article Date: January 23, 2005 | Publication: Sunday Mercury | Author: critic
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Posted by: admin


FRANKIE, a nine year-old deaf boy, has been writing to his father since his family split up. He lives with his mother Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) in a Glasgow flat and thinks his dad, who he can't remember, is working on a ship sailing round the world.

What he doesn't realise is that his mother is still hiding from her violent husband, but has created a fairytale image of the man for Frankie's sake.

She retrieves the boy's letters from a post office box and replies herself to continue the myth.

But when Frankie discovers his ship is about to dock in Glasgow, he gets his hopes up that he will finally get to meet his dad. Lizzie gets herself in even deeper water by trying to find a man to pose, for one day only, as the errant father. Her friend Sharon Small suggests Gerard Butler.

Lizzie makes it clear it's just a business arrangement, but of course it's not that easy.

It is a situation which is bound to end in tears, including those of the audience watching such an engaging, moving and beautifully-made drama.

This is a slow, sensitive film, full of small moments of insight and silences which speak volumes. Its power comes more from what is left unsaid.

Mortimer and Butler have real chemistry and Jack McElhone is brilliant as Frankie.

 


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