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Overall Rating
4.05

Awesome: 20.51%
Worth A Look64.1%
Just Average: 15.38%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 0%

5 reviews, 9 user ratings


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Dear Frankie
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by Beth Gilligan

"Strong performances bolster a contrived script."
3 stars

Fresh off one of last year’s most side-splitting comedies (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera), actor Gerard Butler shifts into brooding, dramatic mode, playing a handsome stranger whose appearance disrupts the life of Scottish single mom Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) and her deaf nine-year old son, Frankie (Jack McElhone).

For years, Lizzie and Frankie have led a transient life, moving from place to place in hopes that they will never be located by Frankie’s abusive father. Intensely protective of her son, Lizzie has never had the heart to tell him about his father’s true nature; instead, she has concocted a lie that threatens to spin out of control at any given moment. As far as Frankie knows, his father is a sailor whose travels around the globe don’t prevent him from writing long, affectionate letters to his son. The truth is decidedly more complicated: the letters from Frankie’s dad have all been penned by Lizzie, who picks them up at a post office box in another town.

While this charade has been happily carried on for years, trouble arises when Frankie spies a newspaper article announcing the impending arrival of his father’s ship. Panicked, Lizzie turns to a friend, who gives her the contact information for a man (Butler) who may be willing to pose as Frankie’s dad for a day or two. However, complications arise when Frankie’s real dad resurfaces, and Lizzie begins to develop an affection for the mysterious stranger.

Throughout its 102 minute running time, Dear Frankie walks a precarious line between sentimentality and darkness. To director Shona Auerbach’s credit, it never dissolves into the fairy tale or the melodrama it has the potential to become. Although the script is at times contrived, the conviction the actors bring to their respective roles elevates the material. Emily Mortimer is especially affecting in her rendering of a woman who has spent years building walls around herself, only to see them topple one by one.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=9162&reviewer=379
originally posted: 03/08/05 15:37:30
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Chicago Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Chicago Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Starz Denver Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Starz Denver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Boston Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Boston Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/16/05 Ang Excellent story and not too sappy! I loved it. 5 stars
7/24/05 jcjs33 i would've ended it obviously differently, slowish but excellent 5 stars
7/16/05 Irene Great movie; loved Gerard, and at 59 I thought my hormones had died, but he got them going. 4 stars
4/27/05 Jeanette Gerard Butler and the whole cast were terrific. What a wonderfully well written script. 5 stars
4/20/05 Krisan awsome 5 stars
4/15/05 Carol Teasley Wonderful Movie. I loved it. 5 stars
3/15/05 Diane A jewel. Wonderfully acted, great onscreen chemistry between Mortimer and Butler. 5 stars
3/09/05 Kristina Williams Gerard is smoking hot 5 stars
9/07/04 J. Lucas Overall, this movie was great. A bit slow in parts, but a great story. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  04-Mar-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Jul-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Apr-2005


Directed by
  Shona Auerbach

Written by
  Andrea Gibb

Cast
  Emily Mortimer
  Gerard Butler
  Sharon Small
  Jack McElhone
  Mary Riggins
  Sean Brown



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