Friday, May 25, 2007

DVD round-up 4: DEAR FRANKIE****

Talented British actress Emily Mortimer shows her full range in the challenging role of Lizzie, a single mother who tries to protect her son Frankie from the grim horror of an abusive father. She does this by telling him that his dad's actually a gallant merchant seaman. When Frankie works out that his dad's ship is about to dock in his home town, Frankie naturally expects a visit. In desperation, Lizzie hires a stranger, played by Gerard "This is Sparta" Butler, to pretend to be the kid's dad for the weekend.

It's an unreal premise, but the wonder of Andrea Gibb's intelligent and sensitive script is that it throws up all sorts of real emotional problems. Lizzie and the stranger are attracted to each other, but this is threatening to a woman so used to protecting her son and herself from any new powerful influence. It is also testament to director/DP Shona Auerbach that she manages to coax such powerful performances from her cast.

DEAR FRANKIE played Cannes, Edinburgh and Toronto 2004 and went on global release in 2005. It is available on DVD.

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