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My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown

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Ireland, United Kingdom · 1989
Rated R · 1h 43m
Director Jim Sheridan
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Declan Croghan
Genre Drama

This biographical comedy-drama tells the true story of Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy into a working-class Irish family and able to control only his left foot. Through flashbacks, we learn how he came to be a well-regarded artist and writer with his own strength and the love and support of his mother.

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Time Out London by

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. He couldn't have done it better.


Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

One hundred and six minutes is entirely too short a time span for Sheridan to cover Christy's entire life, but the performances are so profound they successfully fill in any and all gaps.


Washington Post by Hal Hinson

My Left Foot is gloriously exultant and hilariously unexpected...Sheridan and his great young star have universalized their broken hero.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Day-Lewis's performance is necessarily a bit showy—one has to strain at times to understand all his dialogue because of the character's contorted features—but he puts on a terrific drunk scene, and for all his character's travails the film as a whole winds up surprisingly upbeat.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

Throughout his life, Brown refused to give in to public convention or his own despair; he wouldn't play the victim. Brown labored to express all of his feelings, not just the acceptable ones. Day Lewis works the same way. My Left Foot, a keen match of actor and subject, stands as an eloquent tribute to the talents of both.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

My Left Foot is a great film for many reasons, but the most important is that it gives us such a complete picture of this man's life. It is not an inspirational movie, although it inspires. It is not a sympathetic movie, although it inspires sympathy. It is the story of a stubborn, difficult, blessed and gifted man who was dealt a bad hand, who played it brilliantly, and who left us some good books, some good paintings and the example of his courage.

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