Directed by Jim Sheridan
Written by Emma Thompson
Produced by Arthur Lappin, Jim Sheridan
Music by Gavin Friday, Maurice Seezer
Photography by Peter Biziou B.S.C.
Edited by Gerry Hambling A.C.E.
Emma Thompson (Dt. Abigail Green)
Jamie Bell (Graham Foster)
Liam Neeson (Patrick Foster)
Emily Watson (Mary Foster)
Gerard Butler (Mathew’s father)
Saffron Burrows (Mathew’s mother)
Samantha Morton (Nurse Loretta)
Matthew Goode (Peter Foster)
Alan Rickman (Lawyer)
and Sean Biggerstaff (Matthew O’Brian)
Tagline: "The past can destroy the future, but fate makes the circumstances"
Synopsis: Graham, called “Lucky Clover” by the international press, is now in coma. He was the only survivor and witness in a terrorist act in Belfast, in the 70s, by the IRA. Three years later, detective Abigail Green visits him every day with the hope of his awakening. She was retired from this case the day she had a car accident considered as a clear attempt to kill herself. Abigail continues investigating because Graham is her only choice to know who killed her husband and her son that terrible day. She doesn’t give up. She asks to nurse Loretta every day about Graham’s health. Sometimes, Abigail comes completely drunk to the hospital even before midday, but she has lost everything, her family, her job and her close friends. She only has Graham besides her but he doesn’t know her yet. One night Graham opens his eyes. He jumps from the bed and he starts running. Abigail and his bodyguard follow him. They try to catch him but they can’t. Graham faints away in the exit door. Abigail tries to awake him. He opens his eyes again but he’s completely absent.
Three years before. Graham opens his eyes. He lies on the ground. It’s a soccer match and his companions help him to get up. Matt, a player from the opposite team, comes to ask for excuses. Graham and Matt will turn into great friends since then. They come from very different families and religions. They have nothing in common but they match from the beginning. Matt is brave, he is not scare about fighting. Graham is weaker, his mother use to overprotect him. Patrick and Mary see their son weak and helpless. His brother, Peter, is strong and independent but Graham is Mary’s favorite son. The family has a lot of good values. Graham’s father is a policeman with a great sense of duty, he is strict and distant and they use to discuss very often. Graham gets into Matt’s circle, sharing friendship, drunkenness and excesses. Graham discovers a fascinating group of people. His new friends are not well seen by his father and they discuss about that all the time. Graham doesn’t last any more in his house and decides to spend a few days with Matt and his family. Graham admiration to Matt’s parents and environment pushes him to do some things against his own values but he feels special and integrated. His mother ask him to come back home and to talk to his father. Everybody seems to be nervous one evening in Matt’s home. Matt’s warns him not to stay there that night. But Graham is tired, he has no place to go so he seeks in Matt’s lumber’s room and that simple choice will involve him in his family’s death. Voices inside the house awake Graham, and he hears a conversation that will change all his life forever. Graham runs as fast as he can to get into the Greens Pub. He is in tears and screaming for help. He arrives to the pub and he sees his family through the glass celebrating his brother’s ascent. The last thing he saw before the explosion was his father smiling at him because he was there.
Now, Graham is accused of belonging to a terrorist group and he will have to testify in the judgment, when he recovers his sanity. One night Graham receives the unexpected visit of Matt. He takes his hand and asks for excuses again. Matt is on a dilemma because Graham knows too many things about him and his family and Matt knows that his friend is in danger. His look is still empty, absent. Abigail knows he’s innocent and she will demonstrate it in the judgment with the help of his lawyer. Abigail remembers the tragic day when she lost her husband and her son in their pub. She broke into tears with Graham in her arms.
What the Press would say:The peace process is getting to the end in Ireland. It has been many years of fight and terror to a tired and desolated people. Now, from the distance, the people are what will stay in our memories, their acts, what they were, and what they wanted to be. This is what this film wants to reflect. A film that presents a group of people in a special circumstance, showing two different worlds, two very different boys that can understand each other in the edge of their political and religious ideologies.
Jim Sheridan knows well this conflict (In the name of the father) recapturing this topic with a different view: The past must not prevent the dialogue. The script was difficult to write to Emma Thompson. She pretends to be neutral, creating some characters that flee from what they are supposed to be. This film talks about people that have internal conflicts with their families and environment and they are capable to auto-criticize and auto-analyze, always from the respect. Emma Thompson also has one of the main characters. She creates her character from a little sketch and it starts growing on the paper. Abigail is a strong woman with a hard life. A woman with a tragic past that finds some support in the young Graham. She talks to him, opening her heart to a boy that cannot listen to her. Jamie Bell plays Graham, showing his interpretive force. Jamie Bell has a big challenge with this extremely complex role. He finds a big support in Emma Thompson and Jim Sheridan, and they all create very strong and emotive scenes. A great cast completes the plot, emphasizing the great work of Liam Neeson, Emily Watson, Gerard Butler, Saffron Burrows and the young Sean Biggerstaff. We can find intense and contained performances, (Neeson, Watson) that you could never forget, characters that suffer, love and fight in this life. Without doubt one of the best human dramas based in the real life, but with people that have never existed, though they could have existed anytime.
Best Director: Jim Sheridan
Best Original Screenplay: Emma Thompson
Best Leading Actress: Emma Thompson
Best Leading Actor: Jamie Bell
Best Supporting Actor: Liam Neeson
Best Supporting Actress: Emily Watson