My Left Foot (1989)
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, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for My Left Foot
For all his character's travails the film as a whole winds up surprisingly upbeat.
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.
An intelligent, beautifully acted adaptation of Christy Brown's first book.
My Left Foot is a great film for many reasons, but the most important is that it gives us such a complete picture of this man's life.
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.
Deviating from the standard Hollywood biopic, Sheridan's chronicle told with candor, realism, and humor the story of paraplegic writer-artist Christy Brown, embodied in a tour-de-force Oscar-winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.
[The film] leaves one with an overwhelming sense of the miraculousness of life and of this man's spirit.
Even if all My Left Foot had to offer was Day-Lewis's performance, it'd be a must-see movie.
Nothing can detract from the power of this film, especially Daniel Day-Lewis' astonishing performance as Christy Brown.
Much of the pricelessness of My Left Foot comes from Daniel Day-Lewis's spot-on portrayal of Brown, the first acting job that made critics and awards voters really take notice of him.
A rich cinematic experience, this uplifting British production will leave you in awe of the extraordinary Christy Brown.
This wonderful film, perfect in setting the scene of the era and locale, could not be a better story of hope and inspiration.
It's easy to imagine what My Left Foot might have looked like in the hands of a lesser director like, say, Ron Howard.
Inspiration is inherent in Brown's story, but Sheridan, co-screenwriter Shane Connaughton, and Lewis refuse to sanctify him.
...a boisterous, joyous affair, often funny, often brawling, sometimes sad, but always affecting.
A bit rudimentary in form and style, but full of bracing performances and an admirably light-and-dark tone.
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.More
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.More
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.More
My Left Foot is an inspiring, well made drama about a man with cerebral palsy and the only limb in his body which he can fully control is his left foot. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards and winning 2 of them, My Left Foot was a huge win for critics and audiences alike. With stupendous acting from Daniel-Day Lewis and a breakthrough performance from Brenda Fricker, My Left Foot not only proved to be an excellent film, but an emotionally captivating drama about believing in yourself and never giving up.
The acting within this movie was amazing. Daniel-Day Lewis won his first Oscar from his performance in this film, and would win one more 17 years later. His ability to move and act like a man with cerebral palsy was amazing, and in one intense scene at a restaurant in which he acted just like a child stole the show. He proved to be one of the best actors out there, as many you RT goers have said in blogs, but I have only seen one other film of his (Gangs of New York), and that performance blew me away. So I was completely surprised when I saw this film and this performance, for it topped Gangs of New York, and he became one of the best actors of all time in my mind. Brenda Fricker did an excellent job as well, showing how loyal the character of a mother is, and how emotionally touching they can be. And although she hasn't made any other great acting gigs within her life, she is still a one of a kind actor with a real tendency to make great performances. I also thoroughly enjoyed Fiona Shaw's performance, as she did amazing job acting within the restaurant scene, which I adored.
The story itself is very strange. The opening scene might make one turn away from this film (for I almost did), because it's a bit disgusting staring at a man's foot for three whole minutes. But as you give this film time, and as the story goes on, you get very engrossed in the film. If this film was made in present time, with well done cinematography and editing, then this film would've been a masterpiece. The character development is phenomenal. I loved the growth and the attachment you have toward the characters within the film. It follows this man's life, and it shows how much he changes and how much mature he gets, and it's really a nice aspect to the film. But that brings me to the point of my favorite, most dramatic scene in the film; the restaurant scene. At one point in the film, the attitude of the film shoots up from a happy, every-things-going-well scenario, to a sad, angry kind of moment. Now, I don't want to ruin the scene for you, but it's the scene in which Daniel's acting is the best, the story is the best, and the overall change in character development is the best. I loved the scene, and I hope everyone who reads this does, too.
In the end, this film is a very well done movie, but would've been much better if made in present time. I found the last scene in the film to have been my least favorite part, though. Now, I know many of you might disagree with this, but I think this last part was a bit to rushed. It also seemed a little cheesy, for after everything that happened in his life, all of a sudden, everything seems alright. I didn't like it much, but feel happy to disagree, for I would like to read your comments on this scene. All in all, My Left Foot deserved its spot on the nomination for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but I really couldn't see it having a win for Best Picture. With an inspiring story, well acting cast, but alright cinematrapghy and editing, I give My Left Foot a 75%. Thanks for reading!
If you still don't understand why I gave this film a 75%, please visit this blog below:
My Left Foot Quotes
- Mrs. Brown:
- You break my heart Christy Brown. Sometimes I think you are me heart!
- Christy Brown:
- Get in that car before I kick your ass
- Mary Carr:
- And you typed all of it with your left foot?
- Christy Brown:
- I didn't do it with me nose.
- Mrs. Brown:
- If I could give you my legs, I'd gladly take yours.
- Christy Brown:
- I think you're brilliant.
- Dr. Eileen Cole:
- I'm only as brilliant as my patients.
- Mrs. Brown:
- A broken body is nothing to a broken heart.
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