Tuesday, October 12, 2004

inside i'm dancing

Last night me and Vic went to see a preview of the new film by Damien O'Donnell, Inside I'm Dancing, a carefully controlled and enjoyable comedy starring the ever-charismatic James McEvoy, so excellent in whatever he does - Shameless and State of Play in particular - and Steven Robertson, who gives a magnificent performance as a young man trapped inside a body which is unable to demonstrate his intelligence and wit - for he suffers from cerebral palsy and only McEvoy, likewise confined to a wheelchair and able to move only his mouth and two fingers, can understand him.

A determined and attractive rebel, McEvoy, furious at the world and his limitations, acts as translator and enables Robertson - institutionalised since birth - to live in the real world at last and come to see himself as his 'own man'. Accompanied by Romola Garai, who they pay to be their carer and ultimately both fall in love with, the friends' lives follow the predictable trajectory familiar to viewers of gritty dramas the world over, but the film does not suffer unduly.

It seems a given that in any film of this sort we must witness the conflicting highs and lows of life, meaning the tone swings from comedy to tragedy and back again, and - although I often think that these dramatic counterpoints undermine rather than cement the notion that our characters, whether they are disabled, Indian, gay, in posession of braces or bad hair or a just a brass instrument and a P45, are 'ordinary' - the film is moving and poignant, helped along by the excellent performances.

It's out on general release on Friday and it's worth a look, although the director could have probably shaved ten minutes off the run time and the cinema - our viewing only - desperately needed to turn the air-conditioning on. Sitting in a packed Screen 8 at the Odeon (basically a box room with a widesceen TV) was like being stuffed in a microwave, with lots of Irishmen in wheelchairs looking through the glass...


Anonymous said...

I think you will find it's DAMIAN O'DONNELL not Daniel.

Geez, get the name right. Idiot.

jonathan said...


Blimey. Looks like after bloggers started checking journalists' facts the bloggers are next to have their facts corrected. Well, I don't care - I'd never heard of Damien O'Donnell before last week anyway. His real name's David, anyway.