November 20, 2011

Dear Frankie



I am always brought to tears watching this movie. It's such an endearing story about a deaf boy and his mother and the lengths a mother would go through to protect her son.

Having been on a constant move ever since he can remember, Frankie (Jack McElhone) lives with his single mum Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) and his Grandmother. They have recently just moved into a Scottish seaside town. Frankie has also been writing letters to his absentee father who works on board a ship called HMS ACCRA. As he writes his letter, Frankie also tracks his father's ship across the globe until one day he learns that the said ship will be docking in their Scottish town in a few days. Here in lies the conflict, because unbeknownst to him, his mum Lizzie is actually the one writing back to him. It is the only way for her to hear his voice. And so, Lizzie's created fantasy world comes to crumble. She must now make a choice, tell Frankie the truth or find a stranger to play Frankie's dad for a day.

The film has a fantastic cast which also includes a then little known Gerard Butler (The Stranger) and Sharon Small, as Marie their neighbor who owns a chip shop. As the single mum Lizzie who gives her all for her son, Emily Mortimer is heartbreaking in this role. She manages to convey all her character's emotion and yet avoid melodrama. Jack McElhone is endearing as a deaf boy trying to connect with a father figure and his friends. The story line is well written and is incredibly moving. There is a powerful scene between the stranger and Lizzie at the doorway with no dialogue. It is a testament to good writing and directing because that scene just needed to be played out without words. Very simple and it stays with you a bit after a while. Go check it out but make sure you have a tissue box handy!

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