2005-05-06 / Columnists

‘Millions’ – Bank On It

Finally, a perfect movie has appeared for kids and adults alike. “Millions” is truly a gem from none other than director Danny Boyle who, in the past, has grossed us out with druggies (“Trainspotting”) and zombies (“28 Days Later”).

From a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce (“Hilary and Jackie”), “Millions” features 7-year-old Alex Etel as Damian, whose doe-eyed face will melt even the hardest of hearts. Damian and his older more-practical-minded brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon), are overwhelmed with grief over the recent death of their mother. Having moved with father Ronnie (James Nesbitt) to an English suburban housing development, the boys struggle to fight disorientation and pre-adolescent angst. At one point, Damian is moping about his mother by the railroad tracks, when a big bag of money flies out of the sky. Deeply religious in his own way, he believes his sudden windfall is a sign from Heaven. In fact, he thinks that it literally fell from God to compensate him for the loss of his Mum.

Damian wants to distribute the millions to the needy, even buying microwaves and stereos for some Mormon neighbors. His only confidante, Anthony, is rightfully suspicious, his chief fear being that little brother will babble about it. Big brother knows best, because Boyce introduces a “Great Expectations” twist to the story. One of the thieves, who originally stole the loot (Christopher Fulford), shows up and secretly extorts terrified Damian to turn it over to him. This evil element is a source of some confusion to our young hero, who is in the habit of holding “imaginary” meetings with such saints as Peter, Francis, Nicholas and Joseph.

Throughout the sometimes hallucinatory tale, Boyle shifts the mood from light and whimsical to serious and suspenseful, culminating in a final resolution where Damian goes to “Mum” with the money.

A great film, which you shouldn’t let slip by in the onslaught of summer blockbusters, “Millions” is worth every penny of the price of admission.

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