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There are fine performances from Brosnan, Sophie Vavasseur as Evelyn, and Julianna Margulies, who shines in a cast that also features strong support from Alan Bates, Stephen Rea and Aidan Quinn. Evelyn is a heart-warming drama with barely a feel-good cliché left unturned, which may find its natural home on Christmas Day television as an alternative to the Bond movie on the other side. Consider it a gentle cousin to Angela's Ashes (1999); those seeking more caustic fare on a similar theme would do well to visit The Magdalene Sisters (2002).
On the DVD: Evelyn is presented with a short (21 min), thoughtful making-of featurette. There are good, highly informative commentaries by Bruce Beresford, and by producer Beau St Clair with Pierce Brosnan, in which the superstar reveals how seriously he took this low-budget film, and how much it meant to him. The original spoiler-filled trailer is also included. The film itself is anamorphically enhanced at the original 2.35:1 in a flawless transfer from a virtually perfect print. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is a model of clarity that appropriately doesn't draw attention to itself. --Gary S Dalkin
Desmond Doyle was a blue-collar Dublin painter and decorator, left to take care of his daughter Evelyn and her brothers alone after his wife had ran away with another man. Jobless, penniless and more given to drowning his sorrows in Guinness than addressing them head-on, he was ill-suited for the task, and it didn't take long for church and state to step in and decree that, under prevalent law, Evelyn and her brothers were to be committed to Catholic orphanage schools. Certain that he wouldn't be able to afford a lawyer - and having been told that his case was hopeless anyway - Doyle unsuccessfully tried to regain his children by other means, his methods of choice being bullying and abduction.Read more ›
Hence Desmond Doyle's struggle against the church and state to get his children back.
Based on the book written by Evelyn Doyle about the incident and stereotyping Irish people it is definitely one to watch.
Initial scepticism over Pierce Brosnan in the role were swept away by his great acting and the compelling story line.
At the time the movie was out at the cinema Desmond Doyle's wife complained about the portrayal of her ex-husband in the film.
Enjoy it for what it is as a good classic movie.