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"EVELYN"
(2002) (Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Vavasseur) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Heavy Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Minor None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Moderate Heavy Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: An unemployed man sets out to reclaim his children and change Irish law when the government removes his kids from his home after his wife leaves him for another man.
PLOT:
It's late 1953 and Desmond Doyle (PIERCE BROSNAN) is out of work. Things get worse when his wife, Charlotte (MAIREAD DEVLIN), leaves him for another man. Irish law dictates that a single, unemployed parent can't meet the demands of raising children and so the local authorities remove his three young kids, Evelyn (SOPHIE VAVASSEUR), Maurice (HUGH MacDONAGH) and Dermot (NIALL BEAGAN), from his custody.

With the boys off at an orphanage and Evelyn sent to St. Joseph's school in Dublin under the tutelage of Sisters Brigid (ANDREA IRVINE), Theresa (MARIAN QUINN) and Felicity (KAREN ARDIFF), Desmond tries to regain custody by finding odd jobs or singing at the local pub with his father, Henry (FRANK KELLY), and other musicians.

It's there that he meets Bernadette Beattie (JULIANNA MARGULIES). A pretty and part-time barmaid, she's drawn to Desmond and his plight, which turns out to be a lucky development for him since her brother, Michael (STEPHEN REA), is a lawyer. He, in turn, is good friends with Nick (AIDAN QUINN), an Irish-born American who's also fond of Bernadette, but decides to help Desmond due to knowing what it's like to lose custody of one's kids.

Despite the law stating that the consent of both parents is required to return Desmond's kids to him, Nick, Michael and former rugby star turned now-retired family law attorney Tom Connolly (ALAN BATES) attempt to have the courts rule in his favor. Unfortunately, the Minister of Education (MARK LAMBERT) does not intend to overturn the law.

From that point on and with the help of reporter Hugh Canning (BRIAN McGRATH), Desmond and his legal team then set out to change Irish law so that he can regain custody of his kids.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Fans of someone in the cast or legal type stories may be drawn to it, but it doesn't seem likely that many kids will be interested in this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For thematic material and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • PIERCE BROSNAN plays a 1950s era Irish man who loses custody of his kids due to being unemployed and having his wife leave him for another man. Angry and desperate, he tries various means of regaining custody of them, including eventual court cases. He also drinks, smokes and uses some profanity, although he cleans up his act as necessary.
  • SOPHIE VAVASSEUR plays his smart daughter who hates being at the orphanage and wants to go home to her father.
  • HUGH MacDONAGH and NIALL BEAGAN play her brothers who are housed at a separate orphanage.
  • MAIREAD DEVLIN plays Desmond's wife who suddenly leaves him for another man.
  • FRANK KELLY plays Desmond's father who tries to help Desmond and allows him to sing with his small band in pubs to make money.
  • ANDREA IRVINE, MARIAN QUINN and KAREN ARDIFF play nuns - some who are nice, while one is mean -- who care for Evelyn and other girls at the orphanage.
  • JULIANNA MARGULIES plays a part-time barmaid who falls for Desmond and makes him clean up his act.
  • STEPHEN REA plays her brother, a solicitor who helps Desmond with his legal case.
  • AIDAN QUINN plays an Irish-born American lawyer who leads Desmond's legal battle.
  • ALAN BATES plays a retired lawyer and former rugby star who's brought in to help on the case. He drinks some.
  • BRIAN McGRATH plays a reporter and friend of Tom's who also helps with the cause.
  • MARK LAMBERT plays the stuffy Minister of Education who doesn't want to overturn Irish law and sees no reason to return Desmond's kids to his custody.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "s" word, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are also present, as is one non-explicit, sexually related joke.

    Tense family material has a wife leaving her husband and kids for another man and the kids then being taken away from the father's custody (with the father then fighting to have them returned). Varying degrees of bad attitudes are present, while various characters smoke and/or drink, some to the point of being inebriated. Some brief punching is present, as is the father physically threatening a nun after she strikes his daughter and another girl.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people drink in a pub, including Charlotte.
  • Desmond has a beer and a shot in the pub and appears a bit intoxicated, although he wants more.
  • Various people drink in a pub during a montage, including Desmond while he sings.
  • Michael and Nick drink in the pub.
  • Michael tells Desmond he knows he's been drinking since he can smell it on his breath.
  • Desmond has a beer in front of him, while Nick also has a drink.
  • Desmond says that there's only one thing worse then drinking to forget and it's forgetting to drink.
  • Desmond's father mentions something about drinking and driving regarding Desmond, but Desmond says that he's just driving.
  • Desmond has beer and Bernadette tells him that he drinks too much and that she doesn't want a drunkard.
  • People drink in a pub, including Desmond.
  • Connolly pours drinks for Desmond, Michael, Nick and himself. Connolly appears a bit intoxicated and then drinks more.
  • Desmond drinks from a flask and hands it to Connolly.
  • Connolly, Michael and Nick have drinks, while Desmond has lemonade (as he's given up liquor for Bernadette).
  • Connolly drinks from a flask and then does so again several times later.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Charlotte cheats on Desmond and then leaves him and abandons the kids for another man.
  • Although abiding by the law at the time, the government takes Desmond's kids away from him. A judge is also portrayed as seemingly having it out for Desmond and his case and repeatedly rules against him.
  • While intoxicated and mad about his kids being taken away by religious officials, Desmond tries to punch the local priest who blocks the punch.
  • A mean nun, Sister Brigid, repeatedly flogs a girl for not knowing an answer until Evelyn implores her to stop. That nun then slaps Evelyn several times and then shakes her in response for questioning her authority. We later hear and see that the nun tried to cover this up.
  • Upon hearing about that, Desmond shows up, grabs the nun by the head and threatens her harm if she does it again.
  • Desmond has a bit of an attitude toward Nick (especially due to him being American), but changes that when Nick agrees to help him.
  • A man feeds food to various dogs before a dog race so that they're not as hungry and thus not as inclined to run as fast during the race (all so that Desmond and others will win money they need to fight their case in court).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A mean nun, Sister Brigid, repeatedly flogs a girl for not knowing an answer until Evelyn implores her to stop. That nun then slaps Evelyn several times and then shakes her in response for questioning her authority.
  • While trespassing on private property looking for Michael, Desmond suddenly finds several dogs chasing after him through the woods (he ends up running into a lake to get away from them).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Shotgun: Carried by a man.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to some occasionally strong accents, some of the dialogue could not be understood completely. That said, we did hear the following phrases: "Bastard," "Bloody" (adjective), what sounded like "Bitch," "Brat," "Going through hell," "You big idiot," "What the hell are you smirking at?" "Balls" (testicles) and "Fat ass."
  • Desmond says that there's only one thing worse then drinking to forget and it's forgetting to drink.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in one scene.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to some occasionally strong accents, some of the dialogue could not be understood completely. That said, we did hear at least 1 "s" word, 2 hells, 1 ass, 4 uses of "Jesus," 2 each of "For God's sakes" and "Oh Jesus" and 1 use each of "God" and "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A man states that his wife told him that Eskimos have many words for snow. He then adds that she should know as she's frigid.
  • SMOKING
  • Desmond smokes more than 5 times, while Nick smokes a cigar and various minor/background characters also smoke (mostly in a pub).
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The kids hear Desmond and Charlotte arguing about her being with another man. It's thus implied that Charlotte cheats on Desmond and she then leaves him and abandons the kids for another man (Evelyn sees her leaving and chases after her, but can't catch up with her in the car).
  • By law, the government then takes away his kids and for most of the movie he fights to get them back.
  • Evelyn meets various girls who've been in an orphanage for many years (with one saying her father said he come to get her but never did).
  • A man's father collapses and dies, and we then see a funeral.
  • Nick says he's taking Desmond's case because he lost his kids in a divorce case.
  • After they lose their first court case, police pulls Desmond's crying/upset kids away from him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The true story on which this film is based.
  • Parents separating and the effect that has on kids.
  • Michael stating that the law and justice are two entirely different things.
  • A mean nun, Sister Brigid, repeatedly flogs a girl for not knowing an answer until Evelyn implores her to stop. That nun then slaps Evelyn several times and then shakes her in response for questioning her authority. We later hear and see that the nun tried to cover this up.
  • VIOLENCE
  • While intoxicated and mad about his kids being taken away by religious officials, Desmond tries to punch the local priest who blocks the punch. He then punches Desmond and sends him to the floor.
  • A mean nun repeatedly flogs a girl for not knowing an answer until Evelyn implores her to stop. That nun then slaps Evelyn several times and then shakes her in response for questioning her authority.
  • Upon hearing about that, Desmond shows up, grabs the nun by the head and threatens her harm if she does it again.
  • Desmond falls from a slippery wall (we don't see the impact, but he's okay).



  • Reviewed December 4, 2002 / Posted December 20, 2002

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