My Left Foot

1989

My Left Foot

Critics Consensus

No doubt most will come to My Left Foot for Daniel Day-Lewis' performance, but the movie's refusal to go downbeat will keep it in viewer minds afterwards.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 26,719
User image

Watch it now

My Left Foot Photos

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, Rovi

Cast

News & Interviews for My Left Foot

Critic Reviews for My Left Foot

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (1)

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

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

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

    Mar 10, 2008 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • An intelligent, beautifully acted adaptation of Christy Brown's first book.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot must be the most passionately empathetic film about a physical affliction ever made.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for My Left Foot

  • Jan 15, 2014
    There are those who don't give actors their full due when they play the disabled or cringe at what they perceive to be stereotypical performances. Fitting with his usual performance vigour, Day-Lewis performs above stereotype and beyond the call of duty as Christy Brown. it is a very memorable performance.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2013
    "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 B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 26, 2013
    Let me start off by saying, this film went above my expectation, and I have nothing (serious) to complain about. The film was about a boy (later a man) who was diagnosed as a mental retard for his early life, while really only having Cerebral Palsy. As a man he becomes an extraordinary painter and writer, this is based on a true story by the way. It was an extremely dramatic film that can make any man depressed, but light hearted enough to give you a few chuckles. Some scenes dwindled my mood, and then the next up lifts me to an inspirational moment. The performances were incredibly talented, Daniel Day Lewis was a solid lead, but Brenda Ficker stole the show. They both well deserved there Oscars, and from the other picture nominees I saw from the year (Dead Poets Society and Driving Miss Daisy) this would be my winner. The only problem I felt was that the protagonist Christy always felt to deep or to pitiful, I wish there were more times that we could see him as a regular man. A tremendous film none the less. 3.5 stars+
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2013
    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 r Super Reviewer

My Left Foot Quotes

News & Features