Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Millions (Director: Danny Boyle)

Boyle was the second coming when he did Shallow Grave and Trainspotting. But then came A Life Less Ordinary and The Beach and Boyle was merely a stylish director with no reason to watch his films. He seemed to have floated off the map and then in 2003 came the zombie flick 28 Days Later which sort of put him back as a creative force to watch. Millions opened in the US on March 11 and got a wider release April 8.

Funny, I had completely forgotten Boyle did this. And yet, as I watched, I couldn't help but think of Trainspotting in many instances throughout this film, which shows that Boyle has a style all his own. This is the English version of a family Christmas movie, and the results are a hell of a lot more intelligent and entertaining than what has passed for holiday entertainment in America. What's more, is that this film doesn't have the trappings of a holiday film. You could watch this any time of year and be in the mood, unlike certain seasonal offerings.

Alex Etel plays Damien, a young boy who has just lost his mother and has become obsessed with saints and angels in his attempt to reconnect with her. A boy of imagination, he has set up a fort made of boxes near the railroad, where he talks to famous holy figures from history and feels the rush of the oncoming trains. One day, a large bag lands on his fort, filled with money. Damien and his older brother Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) don't know what to do with the cash; Damien wants to give it to the poor, and Anthony wants to spend the money wisely--of course while also having a little fun as well, but trying to keep it from their father Ronnie (James Nebitt).

It is near the end of the year and England is about to convert the pound into the euro, and the discovered money was set to be burned--however, it has apparently been a part of an elaborate heist, so there is a thief (Christopher Fulford) interested in recovering the money.

The pleasure of this movie comes from the central performance from Etel, a great, innocent, funny acting job complete with a perfect offbeat cadence in his line-readings. Secondly, from Boyle, who infuses a lot of his adrenaline-rush camerawork into a genre that rarely sees such zeal. There are many fine supporting roles here, too, including one from Ronnie's love interest Dorothy, played by Daisy Donovan. It's a fabulous film.


At 5/04/2005 08:47:00 AM, Blogger Jonathan said...

This is one I have definately wanted to see, but unfortunately living in the Boro it's hard for me to get out to Green Hills. I swear, I'm more swamped with shit to do now that I'm not working. Up until "28 Days Later," Boyle was always kind of a dissapointment to me; I never really cared that much for "Trainspotting" even. But this has been getting a lot of raves so hopefully I'll get a chance to go see it before Green Hills pulls the plug. I wish "Oldboy" would get released here; that would make an interesting double feature.


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