Agent 007 (Pierce Brosnan) trades in his Aston Martin for a beat-up jalopy to star as Desmond Doyle—a down-on-his-luck, unemployed, single dad in Dublin—whose three children are taken away by the Irish courts and placed in church-run orphanages. Without suspense and charisma, the faithful father mechanically goes through the motions of sobering up, finding legal counsel, and, oh yeah, becoming the first person to take his case to the highest court in Ireland in order to challenge the Irish Constitution’s custody laws. Director Bruce Beresford’s movie should have been climactic and heart-wrenching to fully reveal the grandiose impact of this real-life monumental 1954 Supreme Court case that made Irish history when it successfully disputed Ireland’s Children’s Act of 1941. Instead it is unfortunately suppressed to a simplistic what-you-see-is-what-you-get courtroom dance with superficial character developments and a basic, and sometimes campy, script. Case closed.


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