As the recent films Loving and Hidden Figures taught us, there are people and stories out there that have remained hidden to us. Despite the fact that these people might have done things that were significant historically.
In 1953 in Ireland a father, Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan – Die Another Day, Love Is All You Need), has his kids taken away from him after his wife abandons the family. Because he is unemployed and there is no woman in the house it is thought of as an undesirable place for kids.The Irish Courts remove the kids and put them in a Church run orphanage. Desmond still has hope of getting his kids back as the judge in the case says this will happen once he gets a job.
While all this is happening his kids are having hard times at the orphanage. His daughter Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur – Becoming Jane, Resident Evil: Apocalypse) suffers abuse. Aided by barmaid Bernadette (Julianna Margulies – from television’s The Good Wife), Michael Beattie (Stephen Rea – Underworld: Awakening, The Crying Game), Desmond’s father Henry (Frank Kelly – from television’s Father Ted), Thomas Connolly (Alan Bates – Zorba the Greek, The Rose), and Nick Barron (Aidan Quinn – from television’s Elementary), Desmond is going to take his fight all the way up to the Irish Supreme Court and the decision rendered will help change the country’s Constitution.
An interesting change of pace for Pierce Brosnan as he is not a ladies’ man or James Bond. He hits the nail on the head as a loving but heavy drinking father.
The best part of the film is the Irishness of it. You really get an idea of what the country was like during that time. The churches, architecture, pubs, countryside, Catholic schools, and the city of Dublin.
Aussie Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy) demonstrates his steady hand at the helm of this independent film. He has made a film that will tug at your heartstrings without becoming overly sentimental.