Dear Frankie 2004

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Heartwarming drama about nine-year-old Frankie (Jack McElhone) and his mother, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer), who have been on the move ever since he can remember. To protect her son from the truth about his abusive father, Lizzie has invented a story to satisfy Frankie's curiosity. She regularly writes Frankie a letter from his make-believe father who she claims works aboard a ship travelling to exotic lands. However, Lizzie soon finds out his 'father's' ship will be arriving in a few days. Now, Lizzie must choose between telling Frankie the truth and hatching a desperate plan to find the perfect stranger to play the perfect father.

Starring:
Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 25 minutes
Starring Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler, Emily Mortimer
Director Shona Auerbach
Genres Drama
Studio PATHE DISTRIBUTION
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie on 4 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
Director Shona Auerbach and writer Andrea Gibbs put together a real winner with their 2004 release, "Dear Frankie," an intelligent and extremely poignant film which I have had on my "must see" list for some time. Powerful performances from an extraordinary ensemble cast of relatively unknown actors are one of the major elements which makes this movie so special. There are some profoundly moving moments here, and absolutely no manipulative sappiness.
Lizzie Morrison, (Emily Mortimer), her nine and a half year-old son, Frankie, (Jack McElhone ), and her chain-smoking mother Nell, (Mary Riggans), have moved to a small seaside town near Glasgow, Scotland, to elude Lizzie's husband, Frankie's father. They have been on the move now for nine years, never staying long in one place. The small family of three are held together by love, which is palpable, and also by a web of lies which were originally invented to protect their most vulnerable member, the child. Frankie, who is hearing impaired, believes his father is a merchant marine seaman and writes to him faithfully, tracking the progress of his ship, the Accra, as it travels the world.
In fact, the boy is really corresponding with his mother. Lizzie encourages him to write his dad and then she intercepts the letters, responds to them and mails them, often enclosing international postage stamps for the child's prized collection. Frankie's letters, and the one's from his "father" are mailed to a central PO box which Lizzie rents whenever they move to a new place.
Major problems surface when Frankie discovers that his dad's cargo ship, the Accra, (which really does exist, to Lizzie's great surprise), will be in port for a few days. He agonizes over whether his father will come to visit him. And Lizzie is besides herself with what to do.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sue Lewendon VINE VOICE on 19 May 2006
Format: DVD
I watched this last night simply because I love Gerard Butler,( who played the title role in the movie version of The Phantom Of The Opera), and was not disappointed very much. The only reason I was left feeling a little hard done by is the fact that his character isn't in it enough!

I don't want to spoil it for you by saying anymore. I would just like to say though that the scenes in which the pair meet for the first time and also when they say goodbye, had me in floods of tears! There are some quite funny little bits along the way too.There's also a good dose of twists and turns to keep you interested. But ultimately for me, it's the twist in Frankie's last letter of the film that really got under my skin. Such an astute little boy is our Frankie!

Any fans of Gerard Butler will love this as he delivers yet another outstanding performance, completely unlike any other of his characters. Emily Mortimer who is Frankie's mum is brilliant too,(and lucky as hell to be able to play alongside G.B!), as are the whole supporting cast.

All in all this is a fairly dark drama but don't let that put you off. If you do, you will miss one of the best 'homegrown' Scottish films I've ever had the sheer delight to see. Absolutely breathtaking stuff.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Richardson on 9 Sep 2007
Format: DVD
This is a beautifully filmed , perfectly acted , well written real tear jerker of a movie that i defy not to touch the heart of everyone . British filmaking at it's best - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED / PS - Nothing like Billy Elliott as the cover suggests - MUCH Better !!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amelia on 4 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
Dear Frankie was a beautiful film. It had a really touching storyline, without being too much of a chick flick. The scenery was stunning, and the soundtrack fitted into the film so well, without being overwhelming.The acting was spot on, and you genuinely feel for the characters.
The ending was excellent, and somewhat unexpected...but only added to how good it is. I would recommend this to anyone who wanted to watch a really good film, that leaves you feeling positive and happy at the end.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By "pro-online" on 18 May 2005
Format: DVD
Set in one of the grittier parts of an Inverclyde port on the Firth of Clyde (where it was filmed) this is an atmospheric if at times slow story depicting the cruel world of single-parenthood, the value of friendship and the importance of the family. The production is totally engaging as it carefully and strategically embroils the viewer in the domestic lives of mother Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) and nine year old son Frankie (Jack McElhone). If ever you wondered what lengths a mother would go to to bring happiness to her offspring Dear Frankie convincingly takes you there, draws a few tears along the way and then warms your heart ready for another breaking as you see the fruits of her toiled labour. The movie builds to illustrate that the pursuit of wellbeing through protection of a child from the truth and the perceived importance of the conventional family unit can be more dangerous than just plain simple honesty. The scene in the chip shop where Frankie proudly and cheerily proclaims the relationship between himself and his companion to the waitress is a highly memorable moment that succeeds in the dichotomy of tears of joy in a way that rarely translates effectively on the screen.
The story unfolds in emotionally difficult turns without ever flinching, flagging or losing confidence in either itself or the controversial subject matter. This is achieved by superb casting and wonderfully robust performances all round where the spoken word is often of secondary importance to the subtler atmospheric facets of each interpersonal relationship. The material in terms of contemporary sociology is totally relevant and as such Dear Frankie is a worthy British (Scottish) film which is thought-provoking, intelligent and real. Whilst some of the "solutions" Lizzie reaches maybe unlikely, it should not detract from the underlying message which is nothing more instinctive and fundamental than 'what is a mother to do'?
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