My Left Foot

Daniel Day-Lewis retrospective

"At the beginning of My Left Foot, a man's foot pulls a record from its sleeve, lowers it tremulously onto a turntable and, after the foot's owner catches his breath, starts the music. This excruciating maneuver, a mere instant in the troubled life of cerebral palsy sufferer Christy Brown, launches not only a protracted, vicarious struggle for the viewer, but also the beginning of an immensely affecting experience.

"Adapted from Brown's true-life account and powered by a collectively true cast, the film has an existentially constricted beauty of its own that steps dexterously over cloying, civic-minded sympathy. It gets in close with Christy, and shows the dark, initially wordless storms inside his head.

"The dual performance, by Hugh O'Conor (as the younger Christy) and Daniel Day-Lewis (as the older one), is, appropriately, the movie's most prominent force. Debuting director Jim Sheridan places this empty-coalbin saga in a well-directed home that mixes the tragic with the funny.” The Washington Post


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