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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 30.26%
Just Average: 5.26%
Pretty Crappy: 1.32%
Sucks: 2.63%

8 reviews, 28 user ratings

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by Elaine Perrone

"Fanciful 'Millions' is the dog's bollocks!"
5 stars

SCREENED AT SEATTLE'S GUILD 45TH THEATRE ON FEBRUARY 16, 2005. SCREENING INTRODUCED BY DIRECTOR DANNY BOYLE. With a storyline revolving around two small boys who are grieving the death of their mother, one of whom uses his vivid imagination to chat with a bevy of Catholic saints, Millions is quite unlike anything Danny Boyle has done before. Conversely, with a storyline revolving around a gym bag crammed with stolen money -- 229,520 GBP, to be exact -- and a mad scramble to dispose of it in the days before Britain converts to the euro, Millions is vintage Danny Boyle, through and through.

Taking a break from tales of zombies (28 Days Later) and heroin addicts (Trainspotting), Boyle joined forces with screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce (24 Hour Party People, Welcome to Sarajevo) to deliver an enchanting fable about the healing power of faith, imagination, and generosity. Far from being overly sentimental, though, Millions is a lively romp, awash in glorious color and bursting with devilish humor, a fair bit of suspense, and enough junior larceny to give the three roommates in Boyle's own Shallow Grave a run for their money.

After his mother's death, sweet eight-year-old Damien (Alex Etel) copes by carrying on imaginary conversations with the saints he has learned about at his parochial school, asking each one in turn if he or she has met his Mum, "Saint Maureen." His older brother Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) hurts as much as Damien but deals with the loss a bit more practically -- teaching his younger brother that the phrase, "Our mother is dead," used liberally, is guaranteed to reap treats and special favors from friends, neighbors, and the local shopkeepers.

When the satchel of cash drops, literally, on top of his cardboard fort by the railroad tracks, Damien sees it as a sign from God that he is intended to give the money to the poor -- perhaps as an indulgence toward Maureen's sainthood. Seizing the opportunities where he finds them, he starts by herding a group of homeless people on a lunch outing to Pizza Hut, and stuffs a mailbox full of money for the purchase of an assortment of household appliances by a neighboring commune of Latter Day Saints. Budding capitalist Anthony, on the other hand, sees the money for its investment potential, cannily looking for ways to diversify his family's real estate portfolio in the weeks before the pound becomes worthless.

When the boys' father (James Nesbitt) finds out about the money -- after Damien has generously dropped 1000 quid into the collection barrel of a dumbfounded missionary (Daisy Donovan) -- and a bank robber (Christopher Fulford) tracks down the youngsters and comes calling for his loot, the game is afoot.

Explaining the biggest difference between working with adults and working with children, Danny Boyle commented that when youngsters are the focal characters, a director doesn't have the luxury of going back to the well if a casting choice doesn't work out. If he hadn't found exactly the right boys to work with, he would have had to scrap the entire project -- an unthinkable tragedy, in light of the finished product. Luckily for Boyle, and moviegoers, he did find exactly the right boys, both of whom make their acting debuts in Millions. Little Alex Etel is the heart and soul of the film as the sweet-natured, angelic-faced Damien, who regales his teachers and classmates with stories about the gruesome deaths of his favorite martyrs. McGibbon complements Etel perfectly as Damien's materialistic brother Anthony, a natural entrepreneur at the age of ten.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=10622&reviewer=376
originally posted: 03/17/05 21:54:55
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival. For more in the 2005 Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/05/19 Suzanne Alex Etel is astounding; this movie always makes me cry. 5 stars
8/23/08 AnnieG Excellent! Enjoyable film for all ages. Makes a nice Christmas gift. 4 stars
5/29/07 Bob crap 1 stars
4/15/07 fools♫gold Very interesting; reaches the heights of the same director's Shallow Grave. 5 stars
2/01/07 billium good film were studying it in RE att school because of its religius morals ect.. 4 stars
4/02/06 robbo kept kids quiet 4 stars
1/08/06 Quigley had some very moving scenes and the kid was amazing, but it was a little confusing 4 stars
12/07/05 Phil M. Aficionado A truly silly little concoction. Can't bring myself to give the kids one star, but..... 2 stars
9/16/05 Green Gremlin A nice change from Hollywood schmaltz !!! 5 stars
8/25/05 EZ Blow up this movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
7/17/05 Captain Craig A feel good movie that really works! Wonderful entertainment. Hollywood take note! 5 stars
7/16/05 what the this guy is an idot, UK is certainly NOT moving to the Euro for a good few years yet! 3 stars
6/20/05 Agent Sands Not only one of the best films of the year, but one of the best family films of all time! 5 stars
6/19/05 Sean Lane Nice seeing yet another Danny Boyle movie. This one is better than the last. A lot. 5 stars
6/08/05 b landers Good movie. 4 stars
6/05/05 jcjs wow 5 stars
5/17/05 Neon Good movie worth viewing 4 stars
5/01/05 Teri CUTE 5 stars
4/06/05 Elizabeth S Charming! Alex Etel is wonderful! 4 stars
3/30/05 Nick Boyd A touching movie with two wonderful lead performances 4 stars
3/24/05 malcontent Believe it or notm Boyles seems in his element here 4 stars
3/02/05 Jason Smith A fun, vibrantly filmed movie with much less sentimentality than expected. 4 stars
2/27/05 Barry Appleby Only Eire switched to the Euro not the UK 3 stars
10/19/04 Colette The film was ok 3 stars
9/19/04 denny very different from any thing done earlier by boyle; not sure who will be the audience 3 stars
9/19/04 christine heath an amazing film, with two charming new stars 5 stars
9/14/04 MM Weird and wonderful 5 stars
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  11-Mar-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 01-Nov-2005



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