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27 November 2014
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PG Evelyn (2003)

updated 20th March 2003
reviewer's rating
Three Stars
Reviewed by Jamie Russell


Director
Bruce Beresford
Writer
Paul Pender
Stars
Pierce Brosnan
Aidan Quinn
Julianna Margulies
Alan Bates
Stephen Rea
Sophie Vavasseur
Length
94 minutes
Distributor
Pathe
Cinema
21st March 2003
Country
USA/Ireland
Genre
Drama
Web Links
Pierce Brosnan Interview

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Diabetics, weight watchers, and anyone with an overly sweet tooth had better stay away from "Evelyn". As saccharine movies go, this is likely to cause massive cardiac arrest if taken in large doses.

Heading up the schmaltz is Pierce Brosnan, who's packed away his Walther PPK to play Irish painter and decorator Desmond Doyle, whose ultra-cute kids are taken into a church-run orphanage after his cheating wife absconds to Australia.

Despite being laid low by the system, stony broke, and desperately in love with the local bar maid (ER's Julianna Margulies, whose Irish accent switches between thick brogue and pure Chicago), Desmond vows to win his kids back from the cruel nuns.

Weighing in on his side are an Irish solicitor (Stephen Rea), an American lawyer (Aidan Quinn), and a drunken - but brilliant - old legal buzzard (Alan Bates) who take the Doyle case through the courts in a landmark legal battle.

Playing the heartstrings with all the light-fingered expertise of a concert violinist, this feelgood comedy ticks off every conceivable Irish stereotype ("What's worse than drinking too much?" asks one of the many Guinness-obsessed boozers. "Forgetting to drink!") on an all-out mission to win the audience over to its romanticised (or should that be Americanised?) vision of the Emerald Isle.

Bates steals the show as the former rugby-playing lawyer turned drunken sot. Writer Paul Pender meanwhile seems not only to have kissed the Blarney stone, but to have positively swallowed it whole.

Meanwhile, Brosnan's handsome charm ensures that this adaptation of a true story never gets as dark as it could do.

Anyone wanting to see a replay of Peter Mullan's ferociously angry "The Magdalene Sisters" is definitely in the wrong auditorium.









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