My Left Foot (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

My Left Foot (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

An alternative to the general run of "triumph over the odds" biopics, My Left Foot is the true story of Irish cerebral palsy victim Christy Brown. Paralyzed from birth, Brown (played by Hugh O'Conor as child and Daniel Day-Lewis as an adult) is written off as retarded and helpless. But Christy's indomitable mother (Brenda Fricker) never gives up on the boy. Using his left foot, the only part of his body not afflicted, Brown learns to write. He grows up to become a well-known author, painter, and fundraiser, and along the way falls in love with nurse Mary Carr (Ruth McCabe). There's no sugarcoating in My Left Foot: Brown, a heavy drinker, was by no means lovable. Day-Lewis and Fricker both won Academy Awards for their performances, and the film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Also notable are the late Ray McAnally in his next-to-last film role as Christy's father, and venerable Cyril Cusack as Lord Castlewelland. Director Jim Sheridan co-scripted with Shane Connaughton from Christy Brown's autobiography. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: R (adult situations/language)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Shane Connaughton, Jim Sheridan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 16, 2005
HBO Video


Daniel Day-Lewis
as Christy Brown
Brenda Fricker
as Mrs. Brown
Ray McAnally
as Mr. Brown
Fiona Shaw
as Dr. Eileen Cole
Eanna MacLiam
as Old Benny
Alison Whelan
as Old Sheila
Hugh O'Conor
as Young Christy
Cyril Cusack
as Lord Castlewelland
Owen Sharp
as Young Tom
Sarah Cronin
as Girl Friend
Darren McHugh
as Young Benny
Keith O'Conor
as Young Brian
Kirsten Sheridan
as Young Sharon
Julie Hale
as Rachel
Tom Hickey
as Priest
Derry Power
as Customer in Bar
Sara Cronin
as Girl Friend
Jean Doyle
as Woman with Pram
Conor Lambert
as Punch and Judy Puppe...
Eileen Kohlmann
as Violinist
Don King
as Double Bassist
Charlie Roberts
as Mourner #1
Jer O'Leary
as Mourner #2
Eanna Mac Liam
as Old Benny
Milt Fleming
as Mourner #3
Ger O'Leary
as Mourner
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for My Left Foot

Critic Reviews for My Left Foot

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7)

All performances are on the mark in this perfect little film.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

For all his character's travails the film as a whole winds up surprisingly upbeat.

Full Review… | March 10, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Day Lewis' re-creation of writer/painter Christy Brown's condition is so precise, so detailed and so matter-of-fact that it transcends the carping about casting an actor without cerebral palsy.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An intelligent, beautifully acted adaptation of Christy Brown's first book.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Not only does Day-Lewis master the physical aspects of the role, the minute-to-minute struggle of almost complete paralysis, he lives the painful genesis of an artistic character.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot must be the most passionately empathetic film about a physical affliction ever made.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for My Left Foot

"My Left Foot" may not be the most authentic biopic if you've dug a little bit into the real life of Christy Brown (especially the ending), but Daniel Day-Lewis expectedly keeps you glued to the screen, adding true believability to such an anguished character.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer


My Left Foot is a stunning real life drama about author and artist Christy Brown. This is superb picture that is brilliantly acted by method actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who would subsequently win an Academy Award for his performance as the adult Brown. For his role, Lewis would study Cerebral Palsy patients for two months and go as far as being fed by someone else. The result is impressive. I've been living with Cerebral Palsy all my life, and though it's not as extreme as Christy Brown case, I found Daniel Day-Lewis' performance to be accurate, well done and superb. I have a minor case of CP, kind of like RJ Mitte from Breaking Bad, but I've lived long enough with CP to notice that all the movements, and muscle spasms that Daniel Day-Lewis made, were dead on. You would swear that he had CP. This is a compelling true story about someone who overcomes great odds to achieve something great in the face of adversity. This is a well crafted movie that is a stunning piece of cinema and is worth seeing if you love stories of triumph, then this is a must see for you. Daniel Day-Lewis is a stunning actor, and his method is legendary and he definitely deserved that Oscar. My Left Foot is an excellent, flawless film that for me, anyways stood out because I related to Christy Brown on a more personal level. For the average viewer, I strongly recommend this one as well, and each viewer can take something special from this movie. This is a very inspirational movie that delivers solid Drama, with a few humorous bits to make for a memorable viewing experience that you soon won't forget. If you come across My Left Foot, definitely check it out, you won't regret it.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer


Cerebral palsy makes a pathetic lump of a lower class Irishman, but his family makes a man of him and do it against the odds. While Daniel Day-Lewis is at turns indeed fiery and feisty as the lead, Hugh O'Conor is blow for blow as the artist as a child. Pretty good stuff.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

My Left Foot Quotes

– Submitted by Tess O (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Brendan C (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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