MILLIONS (Danny Boyle, 2004)
Two motherless boys find a gym bag full of money in MILLIONS, a children’s film that gets the directorial energy that Danny Boyle brought to TRAINSPOTTING. Damian is a mystical lad who converses with the saints on a daily basis. Naturally, he believes the money is a gift from God and is determined to distribute the cash to the needy, much to the chagrin of his older brother Anthony.
Rarely do children’s films address serious issues without getting caught in the traps of sanctimony and sentimentality. Boyle demonstrates that a family film with a moral message mustn’t necessarily be a musty affair. MILLIONS asks hard questions about faith and charity in entertaining and imaginative ways. The boys’ windfall allows them to sublimate their grieving, whether through helping others or buying things for themselves, but of course they would give it all back to see their mother again. Frank Cottrell Boyce’s screenplay crafts a wonderful allegory for the value of money. With the impending conversion to Euros, the English pound will soon be worthless. MILLIONS takes us on a discovery to find the things that have the greatest significance and endure versus those that are ultimately inconsequential and temporary.
(Review first aired on the April 12, 2005 NOW PLAYING)