Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Written by: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Produced by: Graham Broadbent, Andrew Hauptman and Damian Jones
Starring: Alex Etel, Lewis Owen McGibbon, James Nesbitt, Daisy Donovan, Christopher Fulford, Pearce Quigley
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it
Looking at Danny Boyle's filmography, it's impressive to note that the same man who directed such films like 28 Days Later...
and Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise
made a sweet-natured family film entitled Millions
. I'm rather upset that Fox Searchlight Pictures didn't promote this spectacle of a film that much. The only publicity I remember for it is seeing a poster in the cinema. It was a really good poster, though. Who would not want to see a film whose poster contained a picture of a smiling, freckled boy with money raining down on him. Maybe the North American public have something against British family films? Oh, screw that. I just remembered Harry Potter
Damian (Alex Etel) is a young boy obsessed with Catholic saints. When his mother dies, he along with his father (James Nesbitt) and brother, Anthony (Lewis Owen McGibbon) move to a newly built neighbourhood near a field and a train track. One day, when using a cardboard box as a fort, a bag full of money fulls into Damian's hands. He instantly shows it to his brother who counts it. However, they have to spend it all before England converts to the Euro and they have different plans with what to do with it. Damian wants to give it to the poor, but Anthony wants to spend it all on expensive toys and popularity. However, when a strange man (Christopher Fulford) comes looking for the money, the boys get into a giant mess.
Obviously, viewers will have to have a suspension of disbelief while watching Millions
, because it is mostly a fantasy (most notably the whole part about England switching to the Euro, because that will never happen). However, the film is wonderfully written and acted. Alex Etel looks like he will join Freddie Highmore as one of England's best young actors. His dialogue readings and actions make the character believable, someone to root for and not annoying in any way. Frank Cottrell Boyce's screenplay is also wonderfully written and should have gotten some serious Oscar consideration. Danny Boyle also provides a nice direction. The video is good, but very light scenes don't give very good picture quality. That is understable, though, given the low budget. The audio is also rather good, but I recommend switching the subtitles option on.
The first and best extra on the disc is the audio commentary by Danny Boyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce and they provide a nice chat. They mostly talk about the child actors, writing the script as well as the Euro part of the story. Some dead air happens, but it's still a really good commentary. Next are a whole load of deleted scenes, most of which are extended and one which expands Daisy Donovan's character. The behind-the-scenes featurettes are somewhat promotional in nature and aren't really worth watching. There is also a special feature called a "DVD Countdown" that pretty much shows the film in about two minutes. The disc then ends off with the soundtrack spot and theatrical trailer and when the DVD starts, a promo for Fox Searchlight plays.
Fox could have done a better job with this DVD, but Millions
is such a sweet film that it's hard to give the DVD a negative review, so I recommend that you buy this disc for your children to enjoy.