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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The acceptable face of sentimentality
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...
Published on 14 Jan 2004 by Francis T Johnson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Evelyn
The dvd was not as expected, watched it before some time agon but did not enjoy it as much second time round,
Published 6 months ago by Ann Shepherd


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The acceptable face of sentimentality, 14 Jan 2004
By 
Francis T Johnson (Liverpool United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Angel Rays, St. Judes and the Miracle of Justice., 28 Feb 2004
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (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. Eventually he met Irish American attorney Nick Barron, who was willing to take on Doyle's case pro bono, together with his Dublin colleagues Michael Beattie and Tom Connolly, Irish rugby-idol-turned-family-law-expert, whose counsel would prove instrumental both in securing public support for Doyle's case and in drafting Barron's victorious argument.
Written by Paul Pender, who had met the real Evelyn Doyle at a conference, the movie's screenplay made its way onto the desk of Pierce Brosnan, who almost immediately decided to take it on, on a low budget basis - fortunately so, as the project is patently unfit for a large, Hollywood-style production - and soon also decided to play the role of Desmond Doyle. And what at first sight may look like a surprising choice for the actor so much better known for roles like James Bond and Remington Steele was in fact a close match for Brosnan, who grew up in the 1950s' Ireland and intimately knows the ins and outs of Catholic schools, which, judging by his observations on the commentary track, obviously left a profound mark; bitter aftertaste rather than cozy memories of happy days gone by.
Brosnan and co-producer Beau St. Clair were able to secure a perfect and, particularly considering the project's overall size, rather high-profile cast, with Aidan Quinn starring as Nick Barron, Stephen Rea as Michael Beattie, the great Alan Bates in one of his last-ever roles as the flawed but truly grand Tom Connolly (who declares whiskey a more reliable companion than God, but brings rosary beads to the court hearing "to count the scores," and who sees hope even in the most desperate "St. Judes," named for the patron saint of hopeless cases); Julianna Margulies, with as flawless an Irish accent as the rest of the cast, as Beattie's sister Bernadette, who is courted by both Doyle and Barron (guess who gets the girl ... and nothing against Pierce Brosnan, but I'd so wish for Quinn to luck out once only, too!), the eminently likeable Frank Kelly as Desmond Doyle's father, John Lynch as senior government counsel Wolfe - and young Sophie Vavasseur in the title role: a true find, with an instant charm and screen presence making it almost unbelievable that she had never acted before.
Thanks to the subtle performances given by all of its actors, as well as Bruce Beresford's admirable and restrained direction, "Evelyn" is a gentle and despite its serious subject tremendously uplifting film, with a perfect blend of passion, poetry and tender humor, staying with you long after the end credits have run. Although it occasionally scrapes by cliche just so (e.g., was it really necessary to expressly bring up "David vs. Goliath" in a movie whose entire premise is clearly based on this concept to begin with?), its imagery is the most powerful when expressed from Evelyn's point of view: her shock at seeing her mother drive off with a stranger, her anger at witnessing a nun lashing out at a girl for not knowing her catechism ... and her unshakeable faith in her grandfather, who has explained to her, when taking her to her convent school, that the sun rays breaking through the clouds are "angel rays," sent by her guardian angel as a token of protection; and whose presence she feels, even after he has died of a heart attack, whenever she sees the sun coming through the gray Irish winter sky. - At one point during the production, it looked like the movie was going to have to live without a music score - that is, apart from the Irish songs performed live by Frank Kelly (who is also a trained violinist) and Pierce Brosnan (another "first" for him, and certainly one that will delight many of his fans), as part of the Doyles' pub music venture. But fortunately a full soundtrack was ensured eventually, and Stephen Endelman's score - perfectly complimented by Gemma Hayes's "Angel Rays" and Van Morrison's "Sitting on Top of the World" - greatly adds to the movie's lyrical quality. This is one of the year 2002's true cinematic "finds"; a small, quietly shining gem. Bravo, Mrs. Brosnan, Beresford & Co.! I hope Irish Dreamtime Productions will give us more films like this in the future ... and when sun rays break through a cloudy sky, I will never again look at them the way I used to.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale Of One Man's Triumph Over The System, 28 Aug 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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Lynda Mawdsley (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Love this film can watch it over and over again great performance from Pierce Brosnan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film and Pierce Brosnan at his best, 6 July 2014
By 
verity (DEVON: U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I gave the first copy away to a friend and just had to acquire another. Great film and Pierce Brosnan at his best.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
i like it
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5.0 out of 5 stars my mother in law loved this dvdxxx, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
my mother in law loved this dvd it was a good buy aswell.for any pierice bronson fans.thanks alot jane xxx
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 23 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
Great film, True Story & a must watch for those who like a weepy. Very well acted by Pierce Brosnan who also helped produce the film
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blarney, 18 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
A bit of sugary blarney but, the film captures the era well and is very funny in places. Daddy gets the girl, happy ending.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Evelyn, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Evelyn [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
The dvd was not as expected, watched it before some time agon but did not enjoy it as much second time round,
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Evelyn [DVD] [2003]
Evelyn [DVD] [2003] by Bruce Beresford (DVD - 2003)
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