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Four grown up children come together the night before the funeral of their mother in Glasgow. While Thomas sings a tribute in the local pub, a fight breaks out and Michael is stabbed. John wants to avenge his brother, while Thomas goes to chapel with his sister Sheila for an all-night vigil. Even here, though, is not safe, as a storm tears the roof from the church. After an emotional and traumatic night, the siblings eventually reunite in grief.
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Critic Reviews for Orphans
My guess is that Mullan never decided what tone his film should aim for; he fell in love with individual sequences without asking how they fit together.
Writer-director Peter Mullan never seems clued in as to how hilariously atrocious Orphans is.
Arguably one of the funnier and more heartfelt of the [crime movie] genre to come along of late.
Audience Reviews for Orphans
When Orphans came out in 1998 I remember telling people that the then less well known actor Peter Mullan was just as good behind the camera as he was in front of it. Most people only knew him from his small role in Trainspotting but I'd recently seen him in the amazing My Name Is Joe and really enjoyed his performances in Riff-Raff, Shallow Grave and various TV programs. He's gone on to direct a couple more films, both of them brilliant and he's become a house-hold name as both director and actor. It's easy to see how Orphans spring-boarded him somewhat. It is black comedy at it's finest. Four very different siblings deal with the death of their Mother in various different mad-cap ways, the results being touching, emotional and hilarious. The scene whereby Son Thomas (played by the brilliant and underrated Gary Lewis) insists on carrying his Mother's coffin single-handed out of bloody-minded martyrdom is both tragic, sad but irresistibly funny and sets the tone perfectly.
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