"My Left Foot" Is Released
My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 drama film directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
It tells the true story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral palsy, who could control only his left foot. Christy Brown grew up in a poor, working class family, and became a writer and artist. The film also stars Ray McAnally, Brenda Fricker, Fiona Shaw, Julie Hale, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan, Declan Croghan, Eanna MacLiam, Marie Conmee and Cyril Cusack. It was adapted by Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan from the book of the same name by Christy Brown.
It won the Academy Award for Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Brenda Fricker). It was also nominated for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
It also won the NYFCC Best Picture Award for 1989.
An alternative to the general run of "triumph over the odds" biopics, My Left Foot is the true story of Irish cerebral palsy victim Christy Brown. Paralyzed from birth, Brown (played by Hugh O'Conor as child and Daniel Day-Lewis as an adult) is written off as retarded and helpless. But Christy's indomitable mother (Brenda Fricker) never gives up on the boy. Using his left foot, the only part of his body not afflicted, Brown learns to write. He grows up to become a well-known author, painter, and fundraiser, and along the way falls in love with nurse Mary Carr (Ruth McCabe). There's no sugarcoating in My Left Foot: Brown, a heavy drinker, was by no means lovable. Day-Lewis and Fricker both won Academy Awards for their performances, and the film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Also notable are the late Ray McAnally in his next-to-last film role as Christy's father, and venerable Cyril Cusack as Lord Castlewelland. Director Jim Sheridan co-scripted with Shane Connaughton from Christy Brown's autobiography. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide