Saccharine sifted for every grain: Pierce Brosnan is an Irish drunk, on whom his wife walks out on, leaving behind three children.Being the 1950s, and the unbecoming traits of their father, the children are put in a convent, with release pending on a signed agreement from the absent mother. What to do? Straighten one’s self out, find a surrogate mum and challenge a law that’s long been upheld, creating a controversy in a somewhat sympathetic public. The remnants of the true story this was “based on” are enough for Bruce Beresford to mawkishly gloss over an easily manipulated audience, pressing the excessively sentimental to a new level of nausea. Beresford’s direction consists of following a basic connect-the-dots strategy, plowing ahead with predictability and banality, a gross construction of blown up “bad guys” and “good guys,” with every decision made up and spoon-fed to the audience against better judgment. (The key here would be no judgment.) There is the occasional laugh from the courtroom antics during the ruling (“However, …”), but nothing to overturn this ukase (or blindside the obvious outcome).
With Sophie Vavasseur, Julianna Margulies, Stephen Rea, Aidan Quinn and Alan Bates.[Not to be bothered with.]