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Dear Frankie Review - SF Guardian

Category: Dear Frankie Reviews
Article Date: March 2, 2005 | Publication: The San Francisco Bay Guardian | Author: Harvey

Posted by: admin

Dear Frankie Shona Auerbach's first feature is a Scottish seriocomedy that's bittersweet but perhaps just a little too low-key for its own good. Nine-year-old Frankie (Jake McElhone), his mother, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer), and grandmother Nell (Mary Riggans) are constantly uprooting themselves, finding a new Glasgow flat and neighborhood every time Lizzie's violent ex-husband zeroes in on their whereabouts. This instability has wreaked some damage on stamp-collecting, shark-obsessed Frankie, who almost never speaks (he's hearing-impaired) and dreams of his real dad, a globe-wandering sailor he's never met and who, in fact, exists only in the letters Lizzie fabricates. When push comes to shove, she's forced to have a stranger (Gerard Butler, much better than he was as the phantom of the opera) pose as the imaginary father for a day. Needless to say, the mystery man proves something of a knight in shining black-leather armor, though this being Glasgow, don't expect any miraculously upbeat resolutions. Dear Frankie is another movie (like Seducing Dr. Lewis and Good Bye Lenin!) that depends entirely on your buying into a central deception that no one in their right mind would ever devise. Still, this occasionally heavy-handed and precious tale has enough nice moments and performances to qualify as a nice movie but only that. (1:45) Embarcadero. (Harvey)


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