The gist: Nine-year-old Frankie (Jack McElhone) moves from place to place, along with his mum (Emily Mortimer) and grandmum (Mary Riggans). Seems the only constant in his life are the letters he receives from his estranged, sailor father. The letters speak of far-off lands and great adventures at sea. But the letters are not really from his father; it is his mother who pens them. She writes the letters to save her son from a horrible truth; she writes the letters to receive his replies and “hear his voice.” When the ship his mother made up is set to dock in seaside town where they are living, his mother must make a choice: tell Frankie the truth, or hire a strange to pose as his father (Gerard Butler) for a day. Her decision will change all their lives forever.
My take: Have I mentioned that I love this movie? Sigh. Seriously. Everything from the screenplay (Andrea Gibb) to directing (Shone Auerbach) is wonderful. The writing is heartfelt and uplifting. Even the scenery/settings reflect the overall feel of the movie. It was obviously made with great care and deliberation, and it shows. All the actors/actresses do a superb job. Of course, I love Emily Mortimer and Gerard Butler – but Jack McElhone deserves special mention due to his wonderful portrayal of young Frankie. I would – and do – HIGHLY recommend this movie. To pretty much everyone.
An aside: I’ve heard a nasty rumor “they” are planning to make an Americanized version of this movie. Personally, I hope the rumor is some sort of cruel joke and therefore simply is not true. For one, Americanized movies are rarely as successful as their foreign counterparts. Secondly, why?! It’s in English for crying out loud. Granted, English with Scottish accents. But still. And since I’m sure EVERYONE reads my blog – I’m just gonna say it … if you’re thinking about doing it, don’t. Back away from the remake … there can be but one Dear Frankie.