"Rory O'Shea Was Here" is a movie that doesnít come around very often. It is both side-splittingly funny and touching without being sappy. It strikes a balance that gives the story life.
Michael Connolly has lived in Dublinís Carrigmore Home for the Disabled his whole life. Michael has Cerebral Palsy. He uses a wheelchair and cannot speak comprehensibly. He is trapped in his own body and has a lot of difficulty communicating. But Rory OíShea comes along, a punkish young man who canít move any part of his body besides two fingers and his head. Rory changes Michael's world forever.
Rory acts as Michaelís translator, and Michael is delighted to have someone understand him. Together, they decide to get a flat of their own. When Rory plays off Michaelís wealthy lawyer fatherís selfishness to get a flat of their own, they achieve their dream. They enlist the beautiful and witty Siobhan to help them with their daily needs, and before long, Michael develops a strong love for her. The story proceeds from there with a number of incidents and sweet and satirical moments.
The acting in this film is spectacular. James MacAvoy (Rory) and Steven Robertson (Michael) lend both sympathy and determination to their characters, and although the actors both arenít disabled, they act convincingly. We empathise with them, but don't pity them. Their characters are proud and full of dignity. Rory is bursting with life, and heís not an angel. He has some pretty big flaws. Heís a little bit bitter about his situation-and has every right to be. Michael is very sweet, but also hopelessly naÔve, and his naivety proves to be his downfall.
I admit-I was worried when I saw Romola Garai was in this film. Her work in "Dirty Dancing-Havana Nights," was not particularly bad, but not very good. But she infuses a spark in the Siobhan character who the men convince to be their caregiver. She deftly expresses the stress she feels as she struggles in her challenging position.
This movie is not a faerie-tale. Itís a pretty honest portrayal of these everyday things that people like Rory and Michael endure. Rory and Michael donít get everything they want. They are bitterly disappointed by some parts of their lives.
"Rory O'Shea Was Here" strikes an essential balance that explores the touching, sad, and funny parts of life. It will bring tears of sadness and joy to your eyes.
"Rory O'Shea Was Here" is called ďInside Iím DancingĒ in Ireland. This is Natalie Johnson for Movie Magazine.
© 2005 - Natalie Johnson - Air Date: 11/05
Rory O'Shea Was Here