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Movie Review: Danny Boyle's Millions (2004)

Danny Boyle's Millions

Damian is a very imaginative 7-year old who has just moved into a new house with his older brother and widower father. Damian is one of those rare imaginative little boys who would rather read than play sports. His main interest is the Saints, as he believes his mum is now a saint in heaven. He hopes that by learning about the Saints and being like them, he might one day see his mum again.

One day, he drags all of the discarded moving boxes behind his house by the railroad track to make himself a fort. As the train passes by, a bag full of pounds falls off. To Damian, it seems like the package dropped from the sky, possibly from his mum. At first, Damian only tells his brother Anthony what has happened.

This quickly becomes their dirty secret, and each boy sets out to use the money in opposite ways. Anthony wants to live the grand life, investing in real estate and using his money as bait for friends in his new school. Anthony quickly forms a posse, who do everything for him from cycling him to school to removing his sunglasses for him and even standing in the lunch line for him.

Our saintly Damian, however, has his heart set on one thing: to give as much money to the poor as he can. He does this by grabbing homeless people off the street and buying them Pizza Hut. He gives his money to the "poor" Latter Day Saints, who have given up worldly possessions. He even grabs a bum in the backyard who says he is poor. Every time Damian finds these folks he kindly asks, "Are you poor?"

As the day when the euro transfer will take place draws near, things reach a frantic pace. Dad's got a new girlfriend who is collecting extra sterling to build wells in impoverished villages. Anthony suspects she is only interested in the cash. They need to spend or cash in the money, and fast. Everyone wants do something different with the money, including Dad, once they let him in on the secret.

This movie is full of imaginative scenarios that will make you cheer, laugh, and wince. The dialogue rings true. Director Danny Boyle gets the sweetness factor just right, without going over into the cheezy zone. And if you like cute kids, you'll definitely want to take Alex Etel (Damian) home and wrap him up in a red bow. It's really interesting what happens to people when money becomes a disposable resource. When you first get the cash, everything seems happy. The champagne starts flowing freely. But once it becomes apparent that the money will only go so far, reasonable men get the devil in their eyes. Sweet children become selfish broods. As you read this, you might find yourself asking, "What would I do if I had a million?" Damian finds out, and we are shamed to see what gives him the most happiness in the end.


Erin said…
So I heard that you met Traci today... ;)
When I come visit her sometime I'll be sure to stop in!
Lindsey Dunn said…
oh yes that would be so great, maybe we could even do lunch!
Meg said…
This is one of my favorite movies! I love the innocence of the little boy. And the ending is so inspiring!

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