Running Time: 94 mins.
Evelyn is a very personal project for Pierce Brosnan, reminding him of his own childhood before he moved to England. But it is not just a project about the past, it is testimony, based on a true story, of how a determined individual can change the law. The end of the film tells us that it was only in the 1970s that legislation about rights of parents and the Irish Constitution concerning children in care was modified to help the parents.
It also marked a breaking
of the strong ties between Church and state seen in such films as The Magdalene Sisters and Song for a Raggy Boy.
Brosnan plays a happy go lucky Dublin painter and decorator whose wife walks on the family. His boys go to board with Brothers and his daughter, Evelyn, with the sisters (some of whom - but not all - are as severe as we might have anticipated.
The action of the film moves from a father's love for his daughter and trying to get her back and his dealing with the law. The legal aspects of the film are handled by the strong cast of Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea and Alan Bates.
The director is Australian, Bruce Beresford, a director who has tackled a wide range of films over thirty years. His style is rather self-effacing so that the film sometimes comes across as bland with high sentiment at the end. But, these issues of children, the law and care which are not easy to handle with an objective stiff upper lip.
This is a film which presents serious issues with a style geared towards a popular audience.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is the International President of SIGNIS: the World Association for Catholic Communications and an Associate of the Australian Catholic Film Office.