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This touching and humorous movie has earned the raves of critics and won the hearts of audiences everywhere! To spare the feelings of her fatherless boy, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer -Disney's The Kid ) secretly authors letters from his "father" that detail seafaring adventures from around the world. But she cannot maintain this illusion forever. Torn between exposing the truth and protecting her son, Lizzie gets more than anyone bargained for when she hires a handsome stranger (Gerard Butler -The Phantom Of The Opera, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life ) to play the role of a lifetime! Winner at both the Heartland Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival, this entertaining motion picture is sure to touch your heart!
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Driven by intelligent, constantly surprising and moving performances from the film's leads, Dear Frankie stars Emily Mortimer (Lovely and Amazing) as Lizzie, Scottish mother of Frankie (Jack McElhone), a deaf and highly intelligent 9-year-old. Constantly uprooting themselves and relocating from town to town, Lizzie and Frankie are on the run from the latter's abusive father, a fact unknown to the boy, who believes his dad is a busy seaman sending letters full of adventure and love. In fact, Lizzie is writing those missives, but she is faced with a challenge when Frankie discovers his father's ship will dock nearby. Lizzie hires a kind, handsome stranger (Gerard Butler) to play Frankie's dad, creating an odd situation in which ever-growing lies become a conduit for love, and Lizzie's repressed desires come to the fore with a man posing as her husband. The moral tangles are of interest in director Shona Auerbach's charmingly paced, quietly insightful drama-comedy, but so is the glorious feeling of watching these characters come fully alive. --Tom Keogh
- Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary
- Interview with director Shona Auebach
- "The Story of Dear Frankie"
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The pace at times is slow, because it's not quite clear why Lizzie left her husband and why she is refusing to ever see him again. That comes out halfway through this story, when Lizzie reveals the truth to this man (who doesn't have a name). Her husband had been controlling and physically abusive and is so through his dying days. But this nameless new man shows her that there are tender and loving men out there. She simply needs to believe that, too.
The music, the landscape, the fine acting, the believeability of this story make this a heartwarming and original plot. The beauty of Scotland add fascination to this film, as there are many coastline and foggy scenes that add some mystery.
This is a film that should not be missed. I'm glad I caught it!
Emily Mortimer plays Lizzie Morrison, a single mother who at the beginning of the film is moving her family, which includes her mother and Lizzie's hearing-impaired 9-year-old son, Frankie (Shona Auerbach). Apparently, the family is always moving and the reasons are revealed earlier on in the film, though not with any specifics provided. Frankie settles into a routine at school - he is the target of nasty comments by some of his peers, but manages to make a good friend. Frankie loves geography and looks forward to receiving letters from his Da, a man Frankie has never met but who sends Frankie letters, describing travels on a ship named Accra.
Early on in the film it is revealed that these letters are actually penned by Lizzie, who does not want Frankie to know the real truth about his Da. When the Accra is revealed to be docking at their seaside town, the school bully insists that Frankie show his Da off to the kids at school and Emily scrambles to find a total stranger who will step into the role. The man who picks up this assignment is none other than Gerard Butler, who plays a stranger who agrees to be Frankie's Da for a day or two.
The film moves languidly against the backdrop of a bucolic coastal town. Yet there is also the undertone of menace simmering just below the surface - this is well-portrayed by the facial expressions and furtive body language of Emily Mortimer's Lizzie. Why is she hell bent on keeping up with the deception, and why is she so afraid of her past catching up with her? These questions are answered late into the film, but definitely worth the wait. There is a sense of the bittersweet here with an ending that left me feeling contemplative about the vagaries of human existence.
It seems to be a chick flick (so it's obvious why my wife loves it). Even though it's a very affecting story of a single mother and her son, it never strays into the treacly schlock so common in this sort of movie (which is why I probably love it). These are ordinary people struggling with difficult circumstances, but it's all very common. There is understated romance, honest and raw emotions, personal hurts, and absolutely NONE of the exaggerated crap so common in this sort of story. The son is not a snot or super talent, just a kid. The adults are responsible and hardworking, not gibbering idiots.
This a beautiful story, perfectly acted, shot, and directed. An absolute gem.