When Pierce Brosnan’s wife up and leaves him, decamping with another man for Australia,his attempts to be a single parent are quickly derailed by the government. Since he is currentlywithout work, his children (including the title daughter Evelyn) are placed in group homes runby nuns (where Evelyn goes) and monks (where the two boys go). Once he is back on his feetfinancially, he still isn’t granted custody, as the children will not be released without the consentof both pa…ents. So begins a legal battle that was a major shake-up in Irish law. The film isn’twithout a sense of humour, and it appears to be something of a labour of love for all concerned,but it cannot resist wallowing is sticky “Oirish” sentimentality, complete with that bloody flutemusic. Virtually every conceivable Irish stereotype is present and accounted for, and whenEvelyn recites her prayer in court, surrounded by sunbeams, you’ll be fighting to keep your lunchdown.
The soundtrack is absolutely first-rate. The sound is beautifully clear, and the environmentaleffects are as nicely done as they are constant — echoes, footsteps, crowds, and so on reverberatearound the room. The left-right separation is nicely done too.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio is good to see. The picture is decent, but not perfect:it tends to a certain softness and sometimes is a bit murky, and the contrasts could be stronger.No disaster, but certainly not perfect.
There are two commentaries here. The first, by director Bruce Beresford, is a bit sparse.Pierce Brosnan (accompanied by producer Beau St. Clair) on the other track has a lot more tosay. Both tracks say quite a bit about the historical context of the story, which is covered againin “The Story Behind the Story,” a featurette where screenwriter Paul Pender speaks. The otherfeaturette is the usual behind-the-scenes promo. There are three photo galleries (On the Set, Meetthe Cast, and Scenes from the Film), and the really nice, rare thing about the pictures is that theyare all captioned! Finally, there are trailers for Evelyn and the DVD releases of Thelma & Louiseand The Princess Bride. The menu’s main page and introduction are animated and scored, whileeverything else is basic.
The film is entertaining, but goes over the top in unsubtle manipulation and cliches. Thehistorical background provided by the extras is interesting, however.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Star and Producer’s Commentary
- 2 Featurettes
- Still Galleries