This is the biopic of Irish painter and writer Christy Brown. Born with crippling cerebral palsy, he retained movement only in his left foot. His body is a cage for his mind, and at first, only his mother believes that he is an intelligent being. When, as a child, he spells “MOTHER” on the floor in chalk, this is the breakthrough moment, and we follow him through the triumphs and frustrations of his adult years.
The film is markedly different from what one would imagine would be th… Hollywood treatment of this sort of story in its refusal to cave in to schmaltz (though it is emotionally wrenching), and a similar refusal to portray Brown as a saint. He is certainly charismatic, but he can also be a right SOB. Day-Lewis’ performance is, of course, astonishing.
The 5.1 sound isn’t really given a chance to strut its stuff by a film that is generally quite low key when it comes to sound design. Even so, there are some missed opportunities in that street and crowd scenes don’t have much of a surround presence. The music, however, is well served.
Remastered picture? Hmph. Well, maybe. The fact remains that the opening credits are a sorry sight, looking as if the camera lens had been splattered with oil before shooting. Post-credits, the worst of the dirt disappears, but there are still some problematic moments. There is some grain as well. On the other hand, the image is sharp, there is no visible edge enhancement, and the colours are very rich.
This is a special edition? With no commentary? What you have is one documentary broken into two – “The Real Christy Brown” has the filmmakers reminiscing about the man, and “An Inspirational Journey” sees the same group remembering the making of the film. There’s also a still gallery, reproductions of four reviews, and trailers for other releases. Not exactly feature-packed. The menu’s main screen is animated and scored.
A very good film, but the special edition claim of the package falls well short of the mark.
Special Features List
- “The Real Christy Brown” Featurette
- “An Inspirational Journey” Featurette
- Still Gallery