Monday, June 13, 2011

My Left Foot

My Left Foot tells the story of Christy Brown who was born into a large Irish family in the slums of Dublin with debilitating cerebral palsy, leaving him with control only over his left foot. Written off as retarded and helpless, Christy was able to overcome his affliction and personal doubt with the help of an indomitable mother, a supportive family, and a doctor who believed in him. Eventually, he would become a renowned painter and writer, creating his greatest works with only his left foot. Irish director Jim Sheridan brings Christy's tale to the screen with no sentimentality, presenting an honest view of the disease and a not always flattering view of Brown. In a performance that won him an Oscar and brought him into the foreground for most moviegoers, Daniel Day-Lewis gives a remarkable performance, leaving no trace of himself as Brown. It seems almost painful the way he throws himself into the role. Also great is the young Hugh O'Conor who plays Christy as a child. Brenda Fricker is wonderful as well in an Oscar winning role as Brown's mother. My Left Foot is both an example of tremendous acting and how to craft a film about a handicapped person that transcends above the disease of the week stock and becomes something truly wonderful and inspiring.