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A gritty performer leaps from the shadows

Category: Dear Frankie Reviews
Article Date: July 3, 2005 | Publication:
The Boston Globe | Author: Tom Russo, Globe Staff

Posted by: admin


Director Shona Auerbach's Scottish-made festival circuit entry tells the nominally offbeat but also seemingly predictable story of single mom Lizzie (Emily Mortimer), who for years has been secretly replying to the letters her young son, Frankie (charmingly natural Jack McElhone), mails to his father. The intent is to maintain the illusion that ''Da" is a good man forever off at sea, but the charade turns achingly complex when Lizzie desperately hires a laconic stranger (sexy Gerard Butler of ''The Phantom of the Opera") to play dad for a day.

The film's trailer telegraphs, say, the inevitable touch of romance, but it doesn't at all convey Frankie's deafness and how skillfully it helps drive the story, nor is one led to expect the various little mysteries and twists woven in by Auerbach and writer Andrea Gibb.

In the end, this one will likely capture your heart for reasons you never saw coming.
DVD Extras: Commentary by Auerbach; production featurette; deleted scenes. (Miramax, $29.99)


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