Danny Boyle once again reinvents the cinematic experience with a heartwarming story of two little boys, faith, miracles... and lots of money. Starting anew after the death of their mother, 9-year-old Anthony is ever practical, while his 7- year-old brother Damian uses imagination, fantasy, and faith to make sense of his confusing world.

(2005) Film Review

This page was created on March 9, 2005
This page was last updated on March 12, 2005

Overview
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About this Film pdf
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CREDITS

Directed by Danny Boyle
Writen by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Cast (in credits order)
Alexander Nathan Etel .... Damian Cunningham
Lewis Owen McGibbon .... Anthony Cunningham
James Nesbitt .... Ronnie Cunningham
Daisy Donovan .... Dorothy
Christopher Fulford .... The Poor Man
Kolade Agboke .... Ambrosio
Alun Armstrong .... St. Peter
Enzo Cilenti .... St. Francis of Assisi
Jane Hogarth .... Mum
Harry Kirkham .... St. Nicholas
Cornelius Macarthy .... Gonzaga
Nasser Memarzia .... St Joseph
Leslie Phillips .... Himself
Kathryn Pogson .... St. Clare
Pearce Quigley .... Community Policeman
Gunnar Winbergh .... Eli

Produced by
Graham Broadbent .... producer
Katie Goodson .... associate producer: Mission Pictures
Andrew Hauptman .... producer
François Ivernel .... executive producer
Damian Jones .... producer
Cameron McCracken .... executive producer
Duncan Reid .... executive producer
Tracey Seaward .... co-producer
David M. Thompson .... executive producer

Original Music by John Murphy
Cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle
Film Editing by Chris Gill

MPAA: Rated PG for thematic elements, language, some peril and mild sensuality. (edited for re-rating)
Runtime: 97 min / USA:98 min

For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

TRAILERS AND CLIPS
Trailer:
QuickTime, Various

Featurette & 3 Clips:
QuickTime/Windows Media Player/Real Player, Various  
BOOK

Millions
(Bccb Blue Ribbon Fiction Books (Awards))
by Frank Cottrell Boyce
It was a one-in-a-million chance. A bag crammed with cash comes tumbling out of the air and lands right at Damian's feet. Suddenly the Cunningham brothers are rich. Very rich. They can buy anything they want. There's just one problem -- they have only seventeen days to spend all the money before it becomes worthless. And the crooks who stole the cash in the first place are closing in -- fast.
A funny, brilliantly clever and utterly thrilling debut novel that is, quite simply, unforgettable.
Book Info

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SYNOPSIS
Danny Boyle (28 DAYS LATER, TRAINSPOTTING) once again reinvents the cinematic experience with a heartwarming story of two little boys, faith, miracles... and lots of money. Starting anew after the death of their mother, 9-year-old Anthony is ever practical, while his 7- year-old brother Damian uses imagination, fantasy, and faith to make sense of his confusing world. When a suitcase full of money falls out of the sky at Damian’s feet, it sets the boys on the adventure of a lifetime that leads them to realize that true wealth has nothing to do with money.

MILLIONS is helmed by Danny Boyle, the critically acclaimed director of TRAINSPOTTING, SHALLOW GRAVE and the 2003 smash hit 28 DAYS LATER, which is Fox Searchlight’s second highest grossing film of all time. The script was penned by 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE scribe Frank Cottrell Boyce, who was nominated for a BAFTA Award for HILARY AND JACKIE and a British Independent Film Award for THE CLAIM.

The film’s cast includes Alex Etel and Lewis McGibbon, both in their feature film debuts; Daisy Donovan (PARTING SHOTS) and veteran film actor James Nesbitt, whose many honors include winning a British Independent Film Award and receiving a BAFTA TV Award nomination for his role in BLOODY SUNDAY and a SAG nomination as part of the outstanding ensemble cast for WAKING NED DEVINE.

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Review by

DARREL MANSON
BLOG

poster.jpg (31 K)Millions has a great shot at being the top family film of the year. Considering it’s only March, that says something. Not only is it a great family film, it is a great film about faith and about caring for the world around us.

Brothers Damian and Anthony have just moved to a new subdivision with their widowed father. Anthony has figured out that he can milk his mother’s death for sympathy and free stuff. It seems that he should be able to capitalize on his grief in some way. He is always looking to get more.

Damian is having a harder time dealing with his loss. After the move, he has built a fort – or perhaps it’s a hermitage – out of some boxes next to the railroad tracks. He sits out there and reads about the saints, and they begin to appear to him and talk with him. He always asks the saints if they have met St. Maureen. He’s trying to confirm that his mother is in heaven. The saints are always noncommittal.

05.jpg (156 K)One day while out in his boxes, a duffle bag full of money comes crashing into his fort. Damian sees it as a gift from God and is determined to use it wisely to do what God would want. He knows he needs to share it with the poor, but doesn’t really know anyone who is poor.

Anthony, on the other hand, wants to use the money to gain the maximum return. His first act is to "buy" a posse. The promise of money gets him a whole entourage of friends who do things for him. He considers buying a couple of houses that will appreciate and bring them even more money.

But there's a problem: In less than two weeks, the money will be worthless as the currency changes to Euros. Everything has to be spent or invested before that date.

Of course, before long, a bad guy comes looking for the money. (He was the one who tossed it off the train.) So there is a sense of danger that has to be dealt with as the story works its way to its conclusion.

07.jpg (225 K)The story has a nice blend of humor and seriousness that should make it enjoyable for the whole family. Some of the British accents may take a few minutes to get used to, but the dialogue is still fairly easy to understand.

Millions is an opportunity for us to consider issues such as whether the things we have are gifts from God. Is Damian right that God sent him the money? Was it just an accident? How does our use of money change if we understand it as a gift from God versus our own possession?

Anthony and Damian both live within us all. We want to use the wealth we have to make our lives better. But we also know that we have responsibilities to others that we can meet through the use of our wealth. We constantly struggle to try to balance these two desires.

What about the role our faith plays in our grief? Damian knew his mother must be in heaven, but how could he be sure? Damian has great faith. He seems to know all the saints and their stories. He wants to do good, to be like them. He knows, as we all do, that they are models for life. His mother’s death has made this all the more important to him.

As I said, this is a family film, not a kid’s film. This is the kind of film that parents should take children to see and then spend time afterwards discussing what they watched. Perhaps you can talk about how to spend money. Perhaps you can discuss what it means that heaven is involved in this world. Add to that discussion the lives of people who have been virtuous and exemplary – the saints who have informed our lives.

Maybe you’ll even be moved to find a charity to share some of you money or, better, yourselves with. (The film makes reference to the British charity WaterAid. You may be interested in their work, or you might find something in your own community.) The film’s website also has a ”good deeds calendar” (.pdf file) that might help develop ideas of how to do things for others.

Millions has the potential not only to entertain but to actually bring goodness into the world, making it one of the rarest of movie gems in the vein of Pay It Forward and The Miracle of the Cards.

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