Offbeat, black comedy takes a disturbing look into the madness of 12-year old Francie Brady (Owens) in Ireland in the 1960s. An alcoholic father and a mentally strained mother makes Francie escape into a world populated by voices in his head, comic books, and his one childhood friend. When his homelife becomes unbearable, Frankie's demons catapult him into a climatic and destructively criminal breakdown. Newcomer Owens is electrifying as the red-haired dynamo whose lost childhood turns him into a monster and Stephen Rea (a regular in any Jordan film) provides stern support as Francie's loser father and film's narrator. The rural Irish town is recreated with stunning detail, with light touches of kitsch that may put off some looking for a serious treatment of main character's plight. Still a daring movie, with pop star O'Connor as the Virgin Mary. Based on the novel by Peter McCabe.
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Available on VHS
Running time 105 minutes.
L.A. Film Critics 1998: Score.
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