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Movie review

'Millions' is rich, rewarding

By BILLY NORRIS
Published April 11, 2005


Movie: Millions

Rating: PG for thematic elements, language, some peril and mild sensuality.

Summary: Damian (Alexander Nathan Etel) and his slightly older brother, Anthony (Lewis Owen McGibbon), live with their single father in a new subdivision in the English countryside. Damian, 7, has an abounding knowledge of religious history that provokes numerous "encounters" with saints from long ago. One day while talking with one of these saints in his secret hideout, a large duffel bag filled with British pounds falls from the sky. After showing the money to his brother, they initially decide to dole the money out to as many people as possible. Damian, seeing the money as a gift from God, wants to donate it to random poor people, while his entrepreneurial brother wants to spend it. Either way, they have to conceal the money from their father. The catch? Only a week remains before British currency converts to the euro and the money becomes worthless. They must do something with it before time runs out and before its rightful owner discovers where his loot has landed.

My View: This is a very strange film. Offered up in Britain as a family film, I don't see how it can be labeled as such. The themes carry a lot of weight, and though it is extremely well thought out and executed, this thematic material could soar over the heads of younger viewers. This story, quite fairy tale-like in nature, must be taken at face value. If you think about it too much, you're missing the point. The true beauty of this plot comes in the eloquent way it presents complex ideas with an overly simplistic theme. The boys, both in their respective debut acting roles, give astonishing performances. Alexander Etel plays Damian with a depth and sincerity that exceed his years. Though this movie has its moments of complete whimsy, Damian is quite credibly a little boy who believes in the common good of people, and that innocence makes him a remarkable character. This is impressive filmmaking.

Recommendations: Ages 13 and older, for the sake of fully grasping the general idea of the film. See it and enjoy it.

Grade: B+

[Last modified April 8, 2005, 12:30:04]


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