EVELYN (2002) 

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Pierce Brosnan
Sophie Vavasseur
Frank Kelly
Aidan Quinn
Stephen Rea
Alan Bates
Julianna Margulies
Andrea Irvine
Karen Ardiff
Claire Mullan

Bruce Beresford



Time: 94 mins.
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama

SYNOPSIS: A single, unemployed father must fight the courts to retreive his children from the orphanages they were placed in when his wife suddenly left the family.

BOTTOM LINE: This is a simple tale that grips the heart with its' honesty and spunk. It's not exactly a deep or complex story, yet it employs real emotions to draw you in. Based on actual fact, EVELYN tells the story of a charming, yet alcoholic, unemployed carpenter who takes on the Irish judicial system to regain the custody of his three children. Brosnan plays Desmond Doyle, a regular bloke whose wife deserts their family and leaves him holding the bag. Since he doesn't have a job, the Church and State decide that his children would be better off in orphanages then under his dubious care.

Evelyn (Vavassuer) and her brothers, Dermot and Maurice, try to make the best of their situation, but are not exactly thrilled by the overbearing treatment of the nuns and priests. Once Desmond hits the bottom of the bottle, so to speak, he brushes himself off and prepares for the battle of his life. Even with the help of a crack legal team (Quinn, Rea and Bates) the road to reunion is one strewn with devastating setbacks. In the end, persistence and the irresistible pluck of Evelyn enables the family to prevail and system to be changed forever.

Brosnan is actually convincing as an average Irish Joe and his connection with Vavasseur is what keeps this film afloat. Despite knowing the outcome, the courtroom battles are truly compelling because we feel the pain of this family's separation. Because the story is told in such a straightfoward, no frills manner it lacks the majesty and power that makes a movie truly magical. Fortunately, the story and performances are enough to turn EVELYN into a sweetly captivating experience. Though there's a wee bit of romance, the script stays focused on the family, which is where the true love story occurs. A lovely, uncomplicated piece that will leave you with a smile.

"The law and justice are two entirely different matters."

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