Millions Danny Boyle

Millions Danny Boyle
Few would have guessed back in 1996 when Trainspotting became an international cultural phenomenon that the man behind the "heroin chic" film would go on to direct a family film, but here he is nine years later. Boyle's track record over the years is as "family-friendly" as the average Ontario-banned pit-bull: Shallow Grave, The Beach, 28 Days Later and, of course, Trainspotting. But with Millions, Boyle has made the transition nicely, creating a work that is neither sappy nor too kiddie-specific. Frank Cottrell Boyce's (another unlikely contributor, who wrote Hilary and Jackie and 24 Hour Party People) story revolves around a motherless family of three — brothers Damian (Alex Etel) and Anthony (Lewis McGibbon) and their father Ronnie (the always enjoyable James Nesbitt) — and their move to a new suburban community. On the verge of Britain converting to the Euro, Damian discovers a duffle bag filled with hundreds of thousands of pound notes that he shares with Anthony. Together they struggle to withhold the secret and choose different paths: the saint-obsessed Damian gives his cut to the needy, while Anthony splurges. As the deadline for conversion approaches, their father discovers the secret after the criminal who originally stole the money returns, thus unravelling a series of tough dilemmas (spend, give it back, call the cops?) for the family. Millions is an easy film to enjoy: the cast is perfect, Boyle's imagination is a thing of beauty and it requires very little from the viewer. Boyle has broken his stereotype(s) and delivered a film that is a delightful mix of comedy, fantasy, mystery and drama. His commentary with Boyce does a fine job of bringing some new light to the film. The director explains that they couldn't shoot near a railway because of the children, and even the scenes where Damian plays in the vicinity of some tracks earned the film a 12A rating in the UK. As well, difficulties came with filming the children because of laws that state no child can work past midnight, as well as the scene where some money is burned — you can't print false money, so do you burn real money? Boyle cheekily doesn't say what he did. In addition are some excellent deleted scenes that must have only been cut because of time restraints. Plus: "behind the scenes" featurette. (Fox)