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Evelyn [DVD] [2003]

54 customer reviews

Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Julianna Margulies, Aidan Quinn, Sophie Vavasseur, Niall Beagan
  • Directors: Bruce Beresford
  • Writers: Paul Pender
  • Producers: Beau St. Clair, Cynthia A. Palormo, Eberhard Kayser, Kevan Barker, Kieran Corrigan
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Sept. 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AE793
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,395 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Based on true events, Evelyn tells the inspiring story of real-life hero Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan, Die Another Day) and his young children, Evelyn (introducing Sophie Vavasseur), Maurice and Dermot. Abandoned by his wife, Doyle does his best to make it as a single dad, raising his kids alone in Ireland. Their life isn’t easy and when his wife’s mother reports her daughter’s abandonment to the authorities, the power of the Church and the Irish courts take his children away and put them in orphanages. Doyle is devastated.

Vowing to reunite his family, he enlists the help of new friend Bernadette Beattie (Julianna Margulies, E.R.), her solicitor brother Michael (Stephen Rea, The End of the Affair), their American lawyer friend Nick (Aidan Quinn, Michael Collins) and Nick’s mentor Tom Connolly (Alan Bates, Sum of all Fears). Together they attempt to do what has never been done before – challenge a law before the Irish Supreme Court. Doyle’s fight to keep his family intact becomes an uplifting testament to the strength of a father’s love and the power of the human spirit.

From Amazon.co.uk

Evelyn sees Pierce Brosnan return to his native Ireland for a lightweight drama set in early 1950s Dublin. He plays the working-class Desmond Doyle, whose children, including the titular Evelyn, are taken into the unwanted care of the Catholic church when his wife leaves him. Doyle challenges the might of Church and State in the courts, and in the process threatens to change Ireland's legal system itself. The story is predictable, especially given that it's based on real events, but is expertly told by director Bruce Beresford, a past master with tales of determination in the face of adversity--Paradise Road (1997)--and in chronicling the Catholic Church--Black Robe (1991).

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

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Francis T Johnson on 14 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I 'happened' on this film by chance, never having heard anything about it, but I found a truly uplifting experience. The quality of the acting and the direction is superb - the little girl who plays Evelyn is outstanding. The story tugs at the emotions in a clever way and yet always remains within the bounds of the believable. The location shots of 1950s Dublin are very atmospheric and the characters maintain their credibility throughout. The dialogue, which contains many little gems, is beautifully scripted, and everything is treated with a serious, but light touch. All I can say is: go and see it for yourself.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on 28 Feb. 2004
Format: DVD
Ever since the constitutional reform of 1936, the Catholic Church and the Irish state have been inexorably linked; more so than in almost any other western society. A substantial part of Irish legislation - particularly, Irish family law - was (and partly, still is) directly based on Catholic doctrine: prohibiting divorce and abortion; and until 1953, prohibiting a single father from bringing up his children without the mother's consent, thus in essence committing every motherless child to church orphanages until age 16. This changed only when the Irish Supreme Court declared the respective sections of the Children's Act unconstitutional - a landmark decision because for the first time the ties between church and state were broken, and for the first time an Irish statute had been declared unconstitutional at all. "Evelyn" tells the story of the man whose civil action made this decision come about.
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.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Aug. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is based on a true story about the fact that if a man left his wife that the wife would get custody of the child but if the woman left the man then the state got custody of the child in Ireland.
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.
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By Lucy on 31 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
This film is set in the 1950's and is based on a true story. It shows a father (Desmond Doyle) fighting to get his daughter (Evelyn) and other children back into his parental care, after they are placed into child orphanages. They have been taken into care after their mother leaves the family home.

This film really is a gem as it explores such major themes such as being taking into care that are still relevant today.

Heartwarming film.
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I was enthralled with the human interest level of this film. The overpowering element of the Church was challenged in a heartwarming manner because of a deep desire to (a) see the children; (b) to have responsibility for the children and (c) to watch them develop into later life. An excellent production. I met the boy of the family. He is now a bus driver for Highland Heritage Holidays based in Scotland.
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I was happy with the delivery of this DVD, and that it has English subtitles for those of us who need them. However, two thirds of the way through, it stops. I've tried everything on my Windows 8 and it just stops, and refuses to continue. Very disappointing and a waste of money.
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I didn't know that Pierce Brosnan had made this film. I came upon this by browsing amazon. He must of shed some real tears making this film, regarding his own past in Ireland. An excellent choise of cast making this a memorable film with a justified heroic outcome.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wpdees on 10 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD
This is the best film I've seen in a long time. I struggle to find films that are not offensive and this was something you could enjoy with all the family but also appealing to adults. It has humour, is based on a true story which is always a bonus and a tearjerker with a happy ending. I even found the court scenes moving and being a lawyer normally legal drama bores me to tears. This film reminds us what is truly important in life. I haven't read the book and I understand the film digresses from it somewhat, but as far as having the ingredients of being a good film goes - this has it. The 'angel rays' were a bit over-sentimental but that is a very minor criticism. Great film!
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