My Left Foot Movie Review

One of cinema's most infamously hoity-toity titles covers one of its most infamously arty topics: An Irish writer/painter with cerebral palsy who can only use his left foot -- and barely, at that. Never mind the eye-rolling and the nay-saying. My Left Foot is a heartfelt and soulful movie. And while you'll know you're watching an art movie when you sit down to ogle it, you're not going to find a film dripping with saccharine or even shrouded in subtitles. This is just good old-fashioned filmmaking that just so happens to be about a guy that can barely move.

Christy Brown (who died eight years before this film was made) was born with C.P. and pretty much assumed by his family to be retarded beyond hope until -- as a pre-teen -- he proved he could scrawl a word on the floor with his toes. Encouraged by his mother (Brenda Fricker), Christy learns to read and write, and even paint. Meanwhile, of course, adversity waits at every turn.

Much of the pricelessness of My Left Foot comes from Daniel Day-Lewis's spot-on portrayal of Brown, the first acting job that made critics and awards voters really take notice of him. He won the Oscar for the job, in fact. Brown wasn't a saint. He was more the stereotypical Irish drunk, a surly fellow made even more difficult by his severe handicaps. And yet, he's a genius. What can you do?

The first film from director Jim Sheridan -- the unofficial chronicler of Ireland for the last 15 years -- My Left Foot would hint at a talent that we'd soon get to see in all it's glory. Now available on a cleaned-up DVD, the disc includes about 15 minutes of extras, most notably footage of the real Christy Brown, which is instructive in seeing how accurate Day-Lewis's portrayal really was.

Comments

My Left Foot Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: R, 1989

Advertisement

More Daniel Day Lewis

Lead Film Roles That Could Have Looked Very Different

With Robert Downey Jr fitting so perfectly as likeable irritant Tony Stark, Christian Bale slipping so easily into the tortured billionaire psyche of Bruce Wayne...

Why Daniel Day-Lewis Deserves His Knighthood

Few actors impart an intensity and dedication to the process of characterization as relentlessly as Daniel Day-Lewis. The 57 year-old occupies a position in the...

Angelina Jolie, Daniel Day Lewis & Dame Maggie Smith Receive Queen's Birthday Honours

The Queen's Birthday Honours List consists of 1149 people including Angelina Jolie and Daniel Day-Lewis. Day- Lewis has received a knighthood and Jolie has been...

Daniel Day-Lewis To Present An Oscar, But Who Is Most Likely To Win It?

Daniel Day-Lewis is joining the presenters’ lineup at the coming Oscars. The 56-year-old actor has been announced to present an award, among other Hollywood big-timers...

Advertisement

Daniel Day-Lewis' Son Gabriel Releases Rap About Weed, Being Bipolar And His Father's Fame [Video]

Daniel Day-Lewis's son, Gabriel, has released a rap under the name Gabe Day, entitled 'Green Auras.' The single is accompanied by a music video in...

Daniel Day-Lewis Will Not Play James Bond. And William Boyd Never Said It.

The internet went into overdrive yesterday with news that three-times Oscar winner and the greatest actor on the planet, Daniel Day-Lewis, would play 007 himself,...

Daniel Day-Lewis The Next Bond? 'Lincoln' Actor Is Hot Favourite After Being Hand-Picked By Author

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is rumoured to succeed Daniel Craig as the new James Bond after the author of the latest Bond books picked him out...

'Solo' Author William Boyd Touts Daniel Day-Lewis For James Bond

British novelist William Boyd launched the latest James Bond novel at London's Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday (September 25, 2013). The book, called Solo, sees a...

Advertisement