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The Butcher Boy
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Academy Award-winner director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview With the Vampire) probes deep inside the damaged emotional psyche of a child, where fantasy desperately strives to block out a brutal and depraved reality. But what happens when a small boy's most outlandish dreams of revenge are passionately realized as The Butcher Boy?Ireland, 1962. In a remote village, 12-year-old Francie Brady (Eamonn Owens) escapes his alcoholic father, Benny (Stephen Rea--The Crying Game), and mentally unstable mother, Annie (Aisling O'Sullivan--Michael Collins), by retreating into a haze of daydreams, relying on his "blood brother" Joe (Alan Boyle) as his sole link to the outside world. But when tragedy strikes, Francie slips deeper into surreal inhuman misery]]>
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Top Customer Reviews
The Butcher Boy is yet another masterpiece by Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan of The Crying Game fame. After seeing the movie four times, I went out to get Patrick Mc Cabe's book, but there were no copies left, so I can't discern which aspects of the movie were solely Jordan's vision and which were the work of Mc Cabe.
However, it is clear that the feeling throughout the movie is the work of Jordan. The surreal, cartoon-like ambience and the dark, macabre humor amount to nothing less than a brilliant way to present such otherwise deeply depressing material. And if it had been presented in an ordinary way, as the story of a disturbed child with frightful, self-absorbed parents who eventually snaps, it might not have amounted to much more than a Lifetime TV movie-and they're a dime a dozen, a commonness guaranteed to dilute the impact of such a tragic tale.
I originally rented the movie for two reasons-because it's Neil Jordan, and to stare at gorgeous Stephen Rea (can't blame me there), possibly the only actor on earth who needs not say a single word to convey volumes of feeling, and whose spoken word is a symphony of sound. The benefit is that I got to see some things the second and third and even fourth times that I never saw the first time through. Like for instance, when Francie's mother is about to hang herself, and she asks Francie if he'd ever let her down.Read more ›
The time is 1960s Ireland. And from the bizzare opening credits where Mack The Knife plays over the comic book images that so completely engulf the world of our young anti-hero, it is clear that this is not a clear eyed picture of Irish life, but Ireland according to Francis Brady (Eamonn Owens). He's quite a scallywag this lad, he marches through the town along side his best friend Joe Purcell as if they owned it. Surrounded by Irish religious hysteria and John Wayne movies the villains in their world are the detestably snobbish and English accented Mrs.Nugent(Fiona Shaw), Aleins and Communists(in that order). According to the adult Francie's franctic narration his Da Brady (Stephen Rea) is "the best musician in the world" and his Ma is certainly the kindest and most loving of mothers. It is indeed a wonderful life, or a wonderful fantasy.
It becomes depressingly clear that Francie's father is a violent alcoholic, his mother a depressed suicidal and most importantly that his friend Joe is embarrassed by him.Read more ›
Eamon Owens (couldn't have been more than 15 yo when the movie was being filmed) who plays Francie, is so good, it's scary.
That being said, release on DVD!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie can be brutal! Oh, and that DVD cover for the latest release is rubbish. I saw this film years ago and was very impressed. Neil Jordan is a master film maker. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Steven M. Quinn
Very interesting movie. I'm glad I bought it because I couldn't find it anywhere.Published 29 days ago by DeSade
This film is set in Ireland at some point near the rock and roll past. Ireland is full of Irish people. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ryan Costa
I absolutely love this film! Buyer beware: humor is as black as the ace of spades!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love Stephen Rea, but this film left me confused and disturbed.Published 2 months ago by Mary Anne Hoskins
This Had a few decent moments in it, but overall I found it boring and wouldn't recommend it to others.Published 3 months ago by Joe
I strongly encourage you to enjoy this dusky, socked-in Irish drama horror hybrid full of resonant theatrical notes and dominated by a flavorful blend of Irish harp, Celtic... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Binky Chottorrhœhia
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