Evelyn (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Evelyn (2002)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Though predictable and sometimes overly sentimental, Evelyn still manages to be heartwarming.

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One man takes on the Irish family law system and the Catholic Church in a bid to be reunited with his children in this drama, based on a true story. In 1953, Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) was a house painter and decorator who, despite a strong work ethic, had a hard time holding on to steady work. Desmond's wife had grown tired of her marriage and her husband's financial problems, and one day walked away from her home, leaving Desmond to raise their three children on his own. While Desmond struggles to keep body and soul together for his children, his sporadic employment eventually attracts the attention of the law, and a court order sends his two sons and young daughter to separate Catholic orphanages until Desmond can prove he's capable of properly supporting them. However, Desmond discovers merely getting work is not enough to bring his children back to him, and when he learns that his daughter, Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur), is having a rough time of it at the hands of several stern nuns, he becomes determined to win their custody in a court of law. Through Bernadette (Julianna Margulies), a barmaid who has caught his eye, Desmond meets Michael Beattie (Stephen Rea), a lawyer and Bernadette's brother. While Michael doesn't believe Desmond's case can be won in an Irish court, his partner Nick Barron (Aidan Quinn), an expatriate American who lost custody of his own children in a divorce proceeding, is eager to help, and they agree to take the case. However, they both realize they're fighting an uphill battle, and so they persuade Thomas Connolly (Alan Bates), a former football star who became one of Ireland's most respected barristers, to lend his knowledge and prestige to the case. Leading man Bronson also served a co-producer for Evelyn; Bruce Beresford directed, who previously collaborated with Pierce Brosnan on Mister Johnson.

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Cast

Pierce Brosnan
as Desmond Doyle
Sophie Vavasseur
as Evelyn Doyle
Julianna Margulies
as Bernadette Beattie
Aidan Quinn
as Nick Barron
Stephen Rea
as Michael Beattie
Alan Bates
as Thomas Connolly
Andrea Irvine
as Sister Brigid
Karen Ardiff
as Sister Felicity
Alan Barry
as Justice McLaughlin
Niall Beagan
as Dermot Doyle
Hugh MacDonagh
as Maurice Doyle
Frank Kelly
as Henry Doyle
Mairead Devlin
as Charlotte Doyle
Claire Mullan
as Mrs. Daisley
Alvaro Lucchesi
as Inspector Logan
Garrett Keogh
as District Judge
Daithi O'Suilleabhain
as Brother Eustace
Marian Quinn
as Sister Theresa
Bosco Hogan
as Father O'Malley
Lauren Carpenter
as Annette Farrell
Hugh Grogan
as Pub Musician
Peter Fowl
as Pub Musician
Gail Fitzpatrick
as Miss Gilhooly
Pat McGrath
as Gamekeeper
Mark Lambert
as Minister of Education
Conor Evans
as Justice Ferris
Eamon Rohan
as Justice Hall
Brian McGrath
as Hugh Canning
Mick Nolan
as Honest Owen O'Leary
Luke Hayden
as Irish Times Reporter
Daithi O'Suillebhain
as Brother Eustace
Don Foley
as Justice Lynch
Bill Golding
as Justice Daley
Sally the Farmer's Daughter
as Slippery Sam, the Greyhound
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Critic Reviews for Evelyn

All Critics (114) | Top Critics (32)

A sprightly pace and a fatalistic sense of humor propel the proceedings over a generous amount of drinking jokes and other cliches of Irish life and culture.

March 27, 2009 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Instead of the clear-headed resolve the material demands, Beresford's film offers slush, blarney and grandstanding actors ...

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

It's Kramer vs. Kramer, without the Kramers, a 'true story' without much of the truth.

January 3, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Stephen Rea, Aidan Quinn, and Alan Bates play Desmond's legal eagles, and when joined by Brosnan, the sight of this grandiloquent quartet lolling in pretty Irish settings is a pleasant enough thing, 'tis.

January 3, 2003 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Your head may want to resist Evelyn, but your heart will have a hard time of it.

December 27, 2002 | Rating: 4/5
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

From any other filmmaker, Evelyn would be merely a forgettable good intention, but when you consider that Beresford is the man who brought us Black Robe and Breaker Morant, it approaches heartbreak.

December 26, 2002 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Evelyn

½

Tear jerker for sure and a good storyline and acting.

Lee Kyle
Lee Kyle

Super Reviewer

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