Dear Frankie

Dear Frankie

4.7 18
Director: Shona Auerbach, Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler

Cast: Shona Auerbach, Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler

Directed by Shona Auerbach, Dear Frankie revolves around nine-year-old Frankie (Jack McElhone) and his mother, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer). The mother and son duo have been on the run for as long as Frankie, who has been deaf for years, can remember. In an effort to protect Frankie from the truth -- that a psychotic father, whose physical abuse caused his hearing


Directed by Shona Auerbach, Dear Frankie revolves around nine-year-old Frankie (Jack McElhone) and his mother, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer). The mother and son duo have been on the run for as long as Frankie, who has been deaf for years, can remember. In an effort to protect Frankie from the truth -- that a psychotic father, whose physical abuse caused his hearing loss, is at the root of their constant need to move from one home to the next -- Lizzie pens a series of letters from Frankie's "father" in hopes of assuaging his curiosity. However, when Frankie becomes convinced that his father is taking a break from his exotic adventures and making his way back home, Lizzie must make a tough decision: find another way to pacify Frankie's desire to meet his father or tell him the awful truth. ~ Tracie Cooper

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
It’s refreshing, now and then, to watch a movie that tells its story simply and quietly and still manages to keep its viewers riveted to the screen without resorting to explosions, shootouts, sexual innuendo, or bathroom humor. Dear Frankie is just such a movie, one of the most affecting stories in many a moon. The eponymous protagonist is a deaf nine-year-old boy (skillfully played by Jack McElhone) being raised by his mother, Lizzie (Emily Mortimer), and grandmother Nell (Mary Riggins). Lizzie fled her abusive husband years ago, when Frankie was just a baby, and she explains away the father’s absence by telling the boy that his father is a sailor on a freighter, the Accra, and is away at sea. Frankie writes letters to his dad that Lizzie surreptitiously intercepts and answers, maintaining the fiction that his father still cares about him. When a real freighter named Accra unexpectedly docks in Glasgow, Lizzie scrambles to find a sailor willing to impersonate the errant father for one day and meet the expectant boy. Gerard Butler plays the Stranger, who accepts the assignment on the strength of Lizzie’s promise to pay and assumes the missing dad’s name (Davey). He brings unusual depth to a character that, on paper, is something of a cipher. Andrea Gibb’s script is appealingly simple, and director Shona Auerbach elicits from the principal players subtle performances that convey a wealth of emotion with pregnant pauses, knowing looks, and evocative body language. In lesser hands this material might easily have become maudlin or saccharine, but Auerbach restrains her cast and keeps the narrative moving in a straight line at all times without resorting to hackneyed devices designed to get the audience’s tear ducts flowing. This simplicity of treatment and directness of purpose makes Dear Frankie a joy to watch -- such elemental, uncluttered storytelling is seldom seen these days. It’s a pleasure to know that some filmmakers still hold it dear.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
What eventually happens, while not entirely unpredictable, benefits from close observation, understated emotions, unspoken feelings, and the movie's tact; it doesn't require its characters to speak about their feelings simply so that we can hear them.
Boston Globe - Ty Burr
Yet Dear Frankie continually stops short of dumping the full load in our laps, and the denouement is both unexpected and gratifyingly slight.
USA Today - Claudia Puig
Dear Frankie is a sweet, life-affirming story of the sort that easily could easily get overlooked. Miramax Pictures...repeatedly rescheduled the movie's opening and seems to be giving it little marketing attention. How unfortunate that such a lovely and humanistic film got caught in a Hollywood political struggle. It deserves to find an audience.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes with optional director commentary; The Story of Dear Frankie; Feature commentary with director; Interview with director; Dolby Digtal 5.1 surround sound; Widescreen (1.85:1) - enhanced for 16x9 televisions; French language track; Spanish subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Emily Mortimer Lizzie Morrison
Jack McElhone Frankie Morrison
Gerard Butler The Stranger
Sharon Small Marie
Mary Riggans Nell Morrison
Jayd Johnson Catriona Murray
Sean Browne Ricky Munroe
Anne Marie Timoney Janet
Cal Macaninch Davey
Anna Hepburn Mrs. Wallace
John Kazek Ally
Kate Murphy Miss MacKenzie

Technical Credits
Shona Auerbach Director,Screenwriter
Gillian Berrie Co-producer
Peter Brill Sound/Sound Designer
Stephen Evans Executive Producer
Angus Finney Executive Producer
Matthew T. Gannon Co-producer
Joe Geary Asst. Director
Andrea Gibb Screenwriter
Des Hamilton Casting
Alex Heffes Score Composer
Margaret Horspool Art Director
François Ivernel Executive Producer
Jennifer Kernke Production Designer
Cameron Mccracken Executive Producer
Carole K. Millar Costumes/Costume Designer
Oral Norrie Ottey Editor
Duncan Reid Executive Producer
Caroline Wood Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Moving Again [6:27]
2. Stamps & Secrets [8:18]
3. New Friends [4:37]
4. The Bet [5:54]
5. Mommy's Wardrobe [6:00]
6. Looking for a Man [6:42]
7. The Stranger [9:05]
8. Winning the Bet [5:54]
9. A Day With Dad [11:22]
10. Flesh & Blood [5:22]
11. One More Day [10:24]
12. We're All Connected [9:39]
13. Obituary [8:22]
14. Last Letter [3:49]
15. End Credits [2:39]

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Dear Frankie 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have watched it 6 times and will watch it again many times. Having been to this area of Scotland twice made it extra special. But, for those who haven't been there, this jewel of film combines love, suspense, humor, anguish, with great casting, and beautiful music. The world could use some jewels like Dear Frankie, which is devoid of violence, and the excesses so often found in films these days.
gablesgal More than 1 year ago
This is a funny, sweet, touching movie. It is extremely unique and so, so well acted. It's really quite hard to find such a heartwarming movie as this today. Buy it. No need to rent, just buy it. You won't regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dear Frankie was rented by my nineteen year old daughter who saw the love a mother can have in order to protect her kid, even when things start to unravel she does what she has to do to keep up the faux. Surprises happen along the way.
Guest More than 1 year ago
mainly because acting is a sort of lying, and some great person once said, "There's a mortality to lying." Joseph Conrad, I think. Anyway, I don't believe in acting, but I do believe in story-telling, which is telling the truth in a very truthful, wonderful way. This film is one of the greatest works of story-telling I've ever seen. The characters are real, the plot is real, and the emotions inspired in the viewer--or at least, the emotions I felt while watching it--were very real. I saw this with my mother and my grandmother: my mother didn't like it, which means that it was a good movie, and my grandmother and I loved it, which also means that it was a good movie. In other words, if you have good taste in film and value story-telling and recognize the mortality of acting, buy this DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film was sad, funny, and sweet. On top of it all, it gave me hope: hope that love can happen when and where you least expect it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is a jewel, quiet and thoughtful yet at the same time emotionally powerful. All the actors are excellent, in particular Gerard Butler whose screen presence is captivating. His eyes speak volumes as they did in Phantom of the Opera, probably his best role yet. Just to watch him act is a reason to try this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the best movie that I have seen in a long time! I was very moved and inspired by this down to earth movie. What a powerful story. I was moved to tears. The actors were amazing. Gerard Butler as the Stranger was the best role I have ever seen him in. He has come a long way from Dracula! It also makes me want to visit Scotland! I recommend this movie highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cheers to everyone involved in the making of this lovely film. It's sweet without being sicking, a rare treat. The actors hit just the right note of honesty and make the basic premise, as unlikely as it is, believeable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't able to find this movie to rent so I just took a chance and bought the DVD and since watching it I have not been sorry that I did. This is a wonderful movie with much heart and soul. The young star, Jack McElhone who plays Frankie is absolutely charming as well as Emily Mortimer. Since I am a huge Gerard Butler fan I thought he was terrific as the stranger who pretends to be Frankie's father. This is a great film that the whole family can experience. Beautiful location, great music, and superb acting from talented actors. A must for any movie lover's collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dear Frankie is a wonderfully heart warming story with many lessons within. Out of tragedy and adversity, comes forgiveness, compassion, truth and new beginnings. My 9 year old son and I watched this movie together and loved it! A must see movie. This is definitely one for the DVD collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not knowing anything about this movie, my family rented it this weekend. We truly enjoyed it. It isn't full of excitement, special effects, or other high-tech movie magic. It is, however, filled, with great acting, beautiful Scottish backdrops, and a touching story. It's the story of a mother who is trying to do what she thinks is best for her son. She writes letters, making her son think they are from his father. When the ship that his father is supposed to be on comes to town, the mother has to decide what to do. She decides to hire someone to pretend to be Frankie's father. It's a sweet, sensitive movie with a bit of a twist in the plot at the end. I highly recommend this movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If it was a lesser film, I would've succumbed to my mom telling me it was high time I went to bed (she had a point--it was 2 in the morning). She chose the wrong time and the wrong movie to tell me that, though. I had stopped it just as Emily Mortimer/Lizzie was looking up at Gerard Butler/the Stranger. That closeup shot of her face was all I needed to convince me that I may as well just pretend to stop the movie and show my mom I was indeed going to bed when every part of me intended to keep watching until the last frame. So I did just that--I watched the whole movie. And I don't regret it at all. Unexpected tears came to my eyes at strangely moving moments. Sometimes a look did it, oftentimes just a line, and the ending was really the hook, line, and sinker. This story couldn't have been told in a finer I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to immerse myself in Lizzie's and Frankie's world, even just for two hours.
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