4.1 6
Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Alex Etel, Lewis Owen McGibbon, James Nesbitt


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Director Danny Boyle revisits a theme from his Shallow Grave and Trainspotting days -- greed -- but focuses on a much younger protagonist with this comedy drama. Millions opens with recent widower Ronnie (James Nesbitt) moving his two precocious pre-pubescent sons to the suburbs. Missing his mother and the comforts of his old neighborhood, theSee more details below


Director Danny Boyle revisits a theme from his Shallow Grave and Trainspotting days -- greed -- but focuses on a much younger protagonist with this comedy drama. Millions opens with recent widower Ronnie (James Nesbitt) moving his two precocious pre-pubescent sons to the suburbs. Missing his mother and the comforts of his old neighborhood, the young Damian (Alex Etel) builds a cardboard-box fort on the outskirts of the suburb, where one day his placid introvert existence is literally crushed by a giant gym bag full of thousands of pounds' worth of cash. Less concerned with the origin of the money than with how to spend it, Damian and his older brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon), decide to keep it a secret from their father, which becomes an increasingly tricky proposition as the days pass. His conscience getting in the way of his spending, Damian debates the ethics of his ill-gotten gains with a handful of imaginary saints, and begins to try to spend his cash a little more altruistically. But his charitable deeds inadvertently attract the attention of a mysterious, threatening man who's desperate to get his hands on the money. Marking a distinct change of pace for Boyle after the horror film 28 Days Later, Millions world-premiered at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
The lovely and charming Millions is something completely different from director Danny Boyle, whose prior film to this was the visceral zombie thriller 28 Days Later. Adapted by Frank Cottrell Boyce from his own novel, Millions is the rare sleeper that appears out of nowhere to charm the entire family, evolving into a word-of-mouth hit on DVD. Visually inventive, perceptively written, and engagingly acted, the film introduces two boys -- Damian, seven, and Anthony, nine -- who move, in the wake of their mother’s death, to a new subdivision with their loving but distracted father (James Nesbitt). Alex Etel and Lewis McGibbon deliver appealingly natural performances as the motherless lads who suddenly find themselves the beneficiaries of a seeming miracle: A bag of money drops from the sky into the playhouse Damian has constructed out of cardboard boxes. The more spiritually inclined Damien wants to give the money to the poor, while Alex, the practical thinker, feels real estate would be a wiser investment. Meanwhile, the man who was forced to jettison the money after stealing it now wants it back. In Hollywood’s hands, this would be the setup for Home Alone-style slapstick. And while the thief, desperate to retrieve his booty, might frighten younger viewers, Millions remains true to its gentle, whimsical muse. Millions, like The Iron Giant and other and other DVD discoveries, deserves a place in the pantheon of family classics.
All Movie Guide
Much as David Lynch did with The Straight Story, Millions finds Danny Boyle abandoning his fondness for violence, instead directing a family film that delves into magical realism. Boyle takes the striking visual techniques from Trainspotting and 28 Days Later and applies them to a children's fantasy populated by haloed saints. It's busy, colorful, cheery -- and ultimately scattershot. With swarming images and a relentless music-box soundtrack (by John Murphy), Boyle tends to overwhelm what should be a simple story about two brothers distributing 229,000 pounds before a monetary conversion renders the currency worthless. Millions exists some time in the nebulous future, and its frenetic dream-like quality deepens the effect. Even if the film doesn't work on all levels, it's worth applauding. Child actor Alex Etel turns in an earnest performance that's as accomplished as Freddie Highmore's in Finding Neverland. Etel gives great voice to the whimsical chatter in Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay, which, in a particularly British and particularly endearing form of artifice, is just a little too sophisticated for a child. Trusting to a fault, Etel proceeds through his magical world with total naïveté, which makes him impervious to real-world harms. Namely, the shady character (a menacing Christopher Fulford) creeping around his attic, which serves as a nod to Boyle's first film, Shallow Grave. That's just one of several ways the film fits comfortably into Boyle's oeuvre, including his intermittent use of over-exposed and richly colorized film stock. Like most Boyle films, though, Millions is just flawed enough to give pause.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Full length audio commentary by director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce; Deleted scenes; Behind-the-scenes featurettes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alex Etel Damian Cunningham
Lewis Owen McGibbon Anthony Cunningham
James Nesbitt Ronnie Cunningham
Daisy Donovan Dorothy
Christopher Fulford The Poor Man
Pearce Quigley Community Policeman
Jane Hogarth Mum
Alun Armstrong St. Peter
Enzo Cilenti St. Francis
Nasser Memarzia St. Joseph
Kathryn Pogson St. Clare
Harry Kirkham St. Nicholas
Cornelius Macarthy Gonzaga
Kolade Agboke Ambrosio
Leslie Phillips Himself

Technical Credits
Danny Boyle Director
Frank Cottrell Boyce Screenwriter
Graham Broadbent Producer
Susannah Buxton Costumes/Costume Designer
Dennis Cartwright Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Conway Special Effects
Chris Gill Editor
Andrew Hauptman Producer
François Ivernel Executive Producer
Damian Jones Producer
Beverley Keogh Casting
Anthony Dod Mantle Cinematographer
Cameron Mccracken Executive Producer
John Murphy Score Composer
Duncan Reid Executive Producer
Roseanne Samuel Makeup
Tracey Seaward Co-producer
Gail Stevens Casting
Richard Styles Asst. Director
David M. Thompson Executive Producer
Mark Tildesley Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Millions
1. Main Titles/Moving House
2. New School
3. Latter Day Saints
4. Real Money
5. Helping the Poor
6. How to Spend It
7. The Man
8. For Feeding Babies
9. Talking Rubbish Bin
10. The Heist
11. From God
12. Loaves and Fishes
13. Three Days Left
14. Nativity Play
15. Led by a Star
16. A Decent Home
17. Use it or Lose It
18. Outstretched Hands
19. Saint Maureen
20. A Good Cause/End Titles

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