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[4.5 stars] [IMDb Link]

It's difficult to believe that this movie was directed by the same guy (Danny Boyle) who directed 28 Days, Trainspotting, and Shallow Grave. There are no zombies, toilet-diving drug addicts, or murderous roommates in this movie. Instead, it's a sweet story about 7-year-old Damian and his motherless family. Sitting in his moving-box fort by the railroad tracks, he just about literally has a bag full of stolen money fall into his lap. Complication: the money is in the form of pound notes, a currency that's going to stop working in a few days. Another complication: the bloke that stole the money knows Damian has it; he understandably wants it back.

Further: Damian also sees and talks to saints. For example, he has the role of Joseph in his school's Christmas play; the real Joseph shows up to suggest how he play the part. So, naturally enough, Damian's interested in using the money to helping the needy. His brother has other ideas.

This kind of plot could make a movie that's way too sugary and predictable. The director and script avoid that at every turn. The actor playing Damian is great. Also good is Daisy Donovan, who plays a charity worker who unexpectedly takes a shine to Damian's dad; she's very easy to watch.

Last Modified 2024-02-04 4:42 AM EDT