The Butcher Boy

( 2 )

Overview

Neil Jordan directed this adaptation of Patrick McCabe's novel about a boy's struggles with violence and mental illness. Francie Brady Eamonn Owens is a young boy growing up in Dublin in the early 1960s, where his life is dominated by his active imagination and his best friend Joe Alan Boyle. But beneath this benign surface lurks a troubled soul; his father Stephen Rea is an embittered alcoholic, his mother Aisling O'Sullivan is emotionally unstable and periodically ends up in the local mental hospital or as she ...
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Overview

Neil Jordan directed this adaptation of Patrick McCabe's novel about a boy's struggles with violence and mental illness. Francie Brady Eamonn Owens is a young boy growing up in Dublin in the early 1960s, where his life is dominated by his active imagination and his best friend Joe Alan Boyle. But beneath this benign surface lurks a troubled soul; his father Stephen Rea is an embittered alcoholic, his mother Aisling O'Sullivan is emotionally unstable and periodically ends up in the local mental hospital or as she calls it, "the garage," because it's where they take you when you break down, and their next-door neighbor, Mrs. Nugent Fiona Shaw often rants that the Bradys are "pigs" not fit to live with. For all their troubles, Francie fiercely loves his parents, and he can't abide Mrs. Nugent's insults. But his playful childhood pranks begin to advance into more destructive and menacing behavior, which leads him to his own stay in "the garage." Branded a lunatic by the community and shorn of his only close friendship when Joe takes up with Mrs. Nugent's son, Francie soon reaches the point of collapse. With nowhere to go, Francie takes an especially awful job as a butcher's assistant, and his overactive imagination goes into overdrive, flooding his mind with images of alien takeover, atomic apocalypse, and the Virgin Mary Sinead O'Connor that lead him further down the path toward shocking acts of violence.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Recalling Stanley Kubrick's powerful 1973 film A Clockwork Orange in its dissection of madness and society's desire to cure it, this hallucinatory, blackly comic feature by the always-provocative Neil Jordan manages to incorporate a variety of mood shifts and subtle commentary in one fully-realized piece of work. Its young star, the gifted Eamonn Owens, gives a finely-etched portrayal of young derangement (which recalls Malcolm McDowell in the aforementioned Kubrick film), and Jordan's signature touches keep the film's absurdist -- yet somehow believable -- execution constantly engaging. Criticized in some circles as a clever but cold work, the film is decidedly not for all tastes, especially in its comically bemused take on its lead character's bizarre behavior. However, Jordan's auspicious handling of such tricky material transcends such quibbles, and provides rewarding entertainment for those willing to go along with it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/1999
  • UPC: 085391552239
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eamonn Owens Francie
Alan Boyle Joe
Stephen Rea Voice Only, Voice Only
Fiona Shaw Mrs. Nugent
Andrew Fullerton Philip
Aisling O'Sullivan Ma Brady
Ian Hart Uncle Alo
Patrick McCabe Jimmy-The-Skite
Sinead O'Connor Our Lady
Ardal O'Hanlon Mr. Purcell
Technical Credits
Neil Jordan Director
Adrian Biddle Cinematographer
Susie Figgis Casting
Kieran Horgan Sound/Sound Designer
Tony Lawson Editor
Josie MacAvin Set Decoration/Design
Patrick McCabe Screenwriter
Redmond Morris Producer
Christopher Newman Asst. Director
Anna Packard Art Director
Sandy Powell Costumes/Costume Designer
Anthony Pratt Production Designer
Morag Ross Makeup
Joss Williams Special Effects
Stephen Woolley Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2003

    Disturbing, incredible film.

    This film, based on an equally brilliant book, is not for someone who is looking for cheery, escapist entertainment. I know a lot of people who disliked this movie due to the fact that it is extremely sad and dark. I read another review of this film one time and it described it as showing what goes on in the mind and soul of someone who has commited murder. In this film the murderer is a tormented young boy. This movie shows this young boys descent into hell, and although it's subject matter is disturbing, it makes you think deeply. It has wonderful music and the actors are terrific, the young boy in particular.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2003

    In the top 5 most brilliant films ever made.

    This film is a true masterpiece. Place this in the ranks of a Kubrick, Scorsese or Cohen Brothers epic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews