Funnily enough, I had not heard of the film Evelyn until about six months ago. I have a twenty month old daughter named Evelyn, and I was perusing TheForklift.net for Amazon Warehouse deals when I stumbled across a DVD copy of the film for quite cheap, so I scooped it up. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to watch it and here we are a couple months later and Olive Films is releasing the same film on Blu-ray. I was very excited to finally see the movie that shares my daughter’s name. Let’s see if it’s worth a spot on your shelf!
Evelyn is a 2002 drama starring Pierce Brosnan and is directed by Bruce Beresford. It tells the story of Desmond Doyle, an unemployed Irish man who’s wife suddenly leaves him with his three children and no way to care for the family. Down on his luck and deep in a bottle, the government soon steps in and puts his children in the custody of nuns until such a time that Desmond can properly care for them. A technicality makes this especially difficult, as the children’s mother isn’t dead or divorced, she’s just simply out of the picture and unreachable.
What follows is a story of Desmond coming to terms with the fact that his wife is gone and if he doesn’t clean up his act, his children will similarly be lost to him. He gives up the alcohol, sings in bars for money, and enlists the help of some great lawyers to gain custody of his kids. In particular, his daughter, Evelyn, has been physically punished in her orphanage which really ignites Desmond’s emotions and gets him in gear to win the uphill legal battle.
The majority of this film covers the legal battle, which was a bit of a surprise to me, but I later learned that this is a true story and that this court case was a really big deal.
As you would expect from a courtroom drama about a child custody case between a man and the state, the story is not action packed or thrilling by any means, but there is a really heartwarming story here, and Pierce Brosnan does a pretty good job playing the role of Desmond Doyle, even if his Irish accent is a bit over the top.
The rest of the cast are all believable as well, including the children. The only real gripe I have with this film is that it is quite dry at times and Irish court drama is very proper and less exciting to watch. But in the end, this film is more about telling an inspiring true story, which it does well.
The story of Evelyn and her father’s battle for custody is not particularly relevant today, but if you enjoy heartwarming family dramas, you should check it out.
This movie is not a particularly exciting one to watch, technically speaking. The visuals are sometimes muddy and out of focus, but for the most part look pretty good. Overall I would say that this film is middling in terms of clarity and detail, and the same goes for audio quality. There were no discernible pops or anything like that, but this sort of film just doesn’t lend itself to excitement. Nevertheless, after popping in the DVD version there can be no question that the Blu-ray is a solid upgrade for both audio and visual presentations.
- Commentary with Director Bruce Beresford
- Commentary with Pierce Brosnan and Producer Beau St. Clair
- Evelyn: Behind the Scenes
- Evelyn: The Story Behind the Story
As is standard with Olive Films releases, Evelyn comes in a standard amaray case with a single sided sleeve and one Blu-ray disc with a fairly good looking art style on the disc. Inside you will also find a slip of paper promoting other Olive releases.
A perfectly decent family drama starring Pierce Brosnan tackling the Irish government, this movie isn’t exciting by any means, but is a worthwhile watch for anyone looking for a heartwarming story.
You can purchase it here on Amazon.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.