"Millions" is a stylish and heart-warming family film. It centers around Damian (Alex Etel), a boy who is suffering from the loss of his mother. He is living in a new setting, a middle-class suburb in England, with his older brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbin) and Ronnie, his father (James Nesbitt). One day a piece of luggage filled with money hits his homemade fortress nestled close to the railroad. Of course he and his brother are astonished, but Damian, who has a great devotion to saints, has a different vision of using the money than his practical (and more selfish) brother. Wonderfully, the saints actually do visit him, and it is St. Francis who encourages him to give the money to the poor. However, keeping the loot a secret may be a miracle in itself. Both boys have funny ways of hiding and using the money. Damien sets out to find the poor and gives the money away whenever he can; Anthony shops for novelty items on the Internet. Although, as might be expected, complications set in for them: Damian tells a strange man (Christopher Fulford) that he has lots of money, an innocent mistake which makes the thief stalk after the boys and the loot. Damian also finds out that the money was stolen, which provides a moral dilemma for him. (He thought it had fallen from heaven.) Creating even more suspense is an impending deadline: The British pounds are soon converting to Euros, so the family must convert the money in modest sums at a number of different bank branches.
The plot and atmosphere of the movie are worth the price of admission. It is sometimes edited like a stylish video with ethereal music and painting-like colors that surely must have been embellished for the screen. Perhaps the best aspect of "Millions" is Damien himself. He is infatuated with the saints, but he is so genuinely good that the saints presented pale in comparison to him. As apparitions, the saints presented are the least realistic portions of the film. (For example, St. Clare smoking and St. Peter cussing aren't cute, funny, or theologically accurate portraits of saints. And, it should be noted, that if St. Peter did appear, he would give a young boy advice, not just shrug and tell him it is a "free will" decision, like he should decide on his own. Giving good advice doesn't take away free will--even from a young boy.) Later, Damian's mother appears as a reassuring presence, and she says that he is the miracle she had performed in life. Much like the French film, "Ponette," her appearance gives us all a reason to believe. "Millions" is a genuinely funny, heart-warming, and edgily suspenseful film. As entertainment, "Millions" makes the viewer feel like, well,...a million.
As the story opens, we meet brothers Damian and Anthony, who have just lost their mother. The family moves to a new house to begin life without her, and Damian finds a big bag full of cash. This sounds like a dream come true, but in two weeks' time, England will switch to Euros and the Pound will be worthless. The boys have to come up with creative ways to spend the money (before a very scary man finds it and them). This is a sweet and uplifting movie and I enjoyed it … more
Young Damian (Alex Etel) and his investment-minded brother, Anthony, miss their recently deceased mother very badly. So does their father. With that in mind, Damian and Anthony's dad moves them out of their old home and into a new one hoping to exorcise any painful memories. Once moved in, Damian sets up a cardboard house along the railroad tracks where he can escape into his own little world. While playing one day, a bag full of money literally falls on top of Damian's world. He shares his good … more
This is one of those movies that you sometimes run across purely by accident, and once you've seen it you're so glad you did. At least, that's what happened to me. The story is a smart "what-if" sort of premise, starting with the idea that Great Britain is in a rush to convert their legal tender from Pounds Sterling to the Euro. As the movie begins, the final date for this changeover is a little over a week away, after which the Pound will no longer be usable anywhere in Britain. … more
Danny Boyle ('28 Days Later', 'Trainspotting', 'A Life Less Ordinary') has a way with stories that transports a good script (in this case one by Frank Cottrell Boyce) into a cinematic range that creates magic. MILLIONS may seem like a little family tale on the surface, but in Boyle's hands this story about the struggle between Janus ethics vaults off into magical realism, happily taking the audience along for a journey of wonder and joy and the importance of charity. Damian … more
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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Millionswears its heart on its sleeve, and it wears it well. Two boys, still grieving the death of their mother, find themselves the unwitting benefactors of a bag of bank robbery loot in the week before the United Kingdom switches its official currency to the Euro. What's a kid to do? Director Danny Boyle takes a simple premise and, with the help of Frank Cottrell Boyce's sweet, smart script, finds something special to say about the hopes everyone has for the future of a changing world. Brothers Anthony and Damian have vastly different agendas for the stash, and then have to deal not only with the money's original thief but with the disarming woman who seems to be stealing their widowed father. The film is full of quirks that work--seven-year-old Damian (an endearing Alex Etel) has private conversations with a collection of eclectic religious saints--and a technically spirited way of commingling both the scary realities and fanciful imaginings of young minds.--Steve Wiecking