Dr Will Cole Biography & Facts
My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown, also known simply as My Left Foot, is a 1989 biographical comedy-drama film directed by Jim Sheridan adapted by Sheridan and Shane Connaughton from the 1954 memoir of the same name by Christy Brown. Its stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Ray McAnally, Hugh O'Conor, Fiona Shaw, and Cyril Cusack. The film tells the story of Brown, an Irish man born with cerebral palsy, who could control only his left foot. Brown grew up in a poor working-class family, and became a writer and artist.My Left Foot was theatrically released on 24 February 1989 to critical and commercial success. Reviewers praised the film's screenplay and direction, its message, and especially the performances of Day-Lewis and Fricker, while the film grossed $14.7 million on a £600,000 budget.
At the 62nd Academy Awards, the film received five nominations, including for the Best Picture, with Day-Lewis and Fricker winning Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively.
The British Film Institute ranked it as the 53rd greatest British film of the 20th century.
In 1932, Christy Brown is born into a family of 15. Doctors discover he has severe cerebral palsy. Christy is unable to walk or talk. He is loved and supported by his family, especially his mother. One day, Christy's mother trips down the stairs while in labour and Christy was the only person home to see it. He was able to alert some neighbours and summon them over to help. Christy's father, who never believed Christy would amount to anything, starts to become proud after witnessing him use his left foot, the only body part he can fully control, to write the word "mother" on the floor with a piece of chalk.
Consequently, Christy seeks a hobby in painting. The neighbourhood youngsters include him in their activities, like street football, but when he paints a picture and gives it to a girl he likes, she returns it. Later, his father loses his job and the family faces exceptionally difficult hardships, so Christy devises a plan to help his brothers steal coal to their mother's dismay. Christy's mother, who had been gradually gathering some savings in a tin in the fireplace, finally saves enough to buy him a wheelchair.
Christy is then introduced to Eileen Cole, who takes him to her school for cerebral palsy patients and persuades a friend of hers to hold an exhibition of his work. Christy falls in love with Cole, but when he learns during the dinner that she is engaged to be married, he considers suicide. His mother helps him build a private studio for himself, but soon afterward his father dies of a stroke, and during the wake Christy instigates a brawl. At this point, Christy starts writing his autobiography, My Left Foot. Cole returns and they resume their friendship. Later on, Christy attends a charity event where he meets his handler, a nurse named Mary Carr. She begins reading his autobiography. He asks Mary to go out with him and they then happily leave the fete together.
Day-Lewis became interested in the film when he read the opening scene, which features him, as Brown, using his left foot to place a record on a player and then placing a needle onto it so that it will play. Day-Lewis said of the scene: 'I knew it couldn't be done...and that intrigued me." Many scenes were filmed through a mirror, as Daniel Day-Lewis could only manipulate his right foot to perform the actions seen in the film. Day-Lewis spent some time preparing for the film at Christy Brown's alma mater in Dublin. He later returned there for a visit, with his Oscar.
My Left Foot received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 98% of 40 film critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 8.19/10. The site's critical consensus states, "No doubt most will come to My Left Foot for Daniel Day-Lewis' performance, but the movie's refusal to go downbeat will keep it in viewer minds afterwards." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 97 out of 100 based on 17 critic reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and stated, "My Left Foot is a great film for many reasons, but the most important is that it gives us such a complete picture of this man's life. It is not an inspirational movie, although it inspires. It is not a sympathetic movie, although it inspires sympathy. It is the story of a stubborn, difficult, blessed and gifted man who was dealt a bad hand, who played it brilliantly, and who left us some good books, some good paintings and the example of his courage. It must not have been easy".
In 2015, The Hollywood Reporter polled hundreds of Academy members, asking them to re-vote on past controversial decisions. Academy members indicated that, given a second chance, they would award the 1990 Academy Award for Best Picture to My Left Foot instead of Driving Miss Daisy.
BFI Top 100 British filmsReferences
My Left Foot at IMDb
My Left Foot at the TCM Movie Database
My Left Foot at Rotten Tomatoes
My Left Foot at Box Office Mojo. Discover the Dr Will Cole popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Dr Will Cole books.