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Starring
Alexander Nathan Etel
as Damian Cunningham

Lewis Owen McGibbon
as Anthony Cunningham

James Nesbitt
as Ronnie Cunningham

Daisy Donovan
as Dorothy

Christopher Fulford
as The Poor Man

Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Directed by Danny Boyle

Running Time: 1:38

Rated PG
for thematic elements, language,
some peril and mild sensuality.

B-


THE OPENING

Millions was a sweet, charming movie that got a little confusing at the end, but was still fun and entertaining.

THE STORY

Brothers Damian and Anthony are very different. Anthony is the cool, older brother who deals with the death of his mother by telling people she died so he can get free stuff. Damian is more introspective and quiet, but also has a strange love of Saints. These same Saints show up in his every day life and he continually asks them if they've seen his mother. One day, while playing by the railroad tracks, a duffle bag full of money comes flying into Damian's cardboard box house. He thinks it's a sign from God and that he should give the money to charity. Anthony of course has a different idea and thinks they should keep the money and maybe buy property. Soon they realize that the money was stolen, and one of the men that stole it comes after the boys. Not to worry, this is still a happy movie, so nothing bad happens to the boys (beyond being scared to death a couple of times) and along with their father, the two brothers learn to better deal with the death of their mother.

THE REVIEW

This is not the kind of film you expect from the director of 28 Days Later and Trainspotting. No dead bodies, no dismemberment and no one crawling inside of a toilet. Instead you get a sweet and funny movie featuring two children who seem to be smarter beyond their years. The accents took a few minutes to get used to, and the visions Damian has kind of get confusing if only because after a while you wonder what he's really seeing, and if anyone else can see them too. And the end of the movie threw me because I started to wonder how much of the rest of the movie actually happened, and how much was the imagination of Damian. That being said, I still found myself laughing a lot and was kept interested throughout.

The key to this movie is the kids. If you like the kids, you'll like the movie. And I liked the kids. Damian was such a sweet kid who obviously missed his mother and kept hoping to hear something from her. The quirk of being able to see Saints, all of whom seemed rather nice and quirky themselves, was a nice touch. It was really cute every time he asked one of them if they knew of a new Saint, namely his mom. The older brother Anthony was more like what you'd expect a kid to be. He finds hundreds of thousands of pounds and decides to spend it on fun stuff. Watching him pay off his friends and turn them into an entourage was pretty funny. And his frustration with his younger brother was a fairly typical response most older siblings would have when their younger brother/sister just didn't get it. It's free money! Spend it, don't give it away to the poor!

Even though this was a change of pace for director Danny Boyle, he still kept some of his well known style elements working including a lot of jump cuts and quick camera movements and some ominous music when the bad guy showed up. The first thing you notice when you see the film is how beautiful the scenery looks. Almost too nice as the camera flows through the fields. There are some animation effects which were interesting, although I don't know how much they added to the movie. And there were some plot points that were thrown in to make the movie move along without necessarily being true, namely making the crew have to spend or deposit all the money because Britain was switching to the Euro and all the old money would be worthless.

Towards the end of the movie I started to wonder what was happening. For most of the movie it felt like the story was moving along on its own, but then stranger things started to happen, and the voice over from Damian right at the end made me wonder if everything I saw had happened, or if he was just making it all up. It's kind of like watching a Freddy Krueger film because you start to wonder what's real and what's a dream. Up until the end I was having a fairly good time, but the ending made me scratch my head a little. I almost think it would have been nicer if I had gone home 5 minutes earlier.

THE BOTTOM LINE

So overall, I'd recommend Millions if you're looking for a fun time at the movies. It's not a continuous laugh-out-loud comedy but it's also a cute movie where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. I'd probably rent it when it comes out on DVD and watch it with friends.

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reviewed 03/06/05

© 2005 Wolfpack Productions

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