20 May 2009

Inside I'm Dancing, aka Rory O'Shea was here (starring James McAvoy and Steven Robertson)

As far as I remember, the film "Inside I'm Dancing" was recommended to me by Amazon, based on items I had already added to my wishlist. Possibly this was a misconception due to the word 'dancing' in the title, something which has now changed - in the USA, at least, the film has been re-titled 'Rory O'Shea was here', and the cover has been given a new, modern look.

When I read the blurb, I wasn't too sure what it would be like. The story features Michael (Steven Robertson), a guy with severe cerebral palsy who lives in a home for the disabled in Ireland. He can’t speak comprehensibly although he’s clearly bright, and gets around by wheelchair.

Then the outspoken and rebellious Rory (James McAvoy) arrives. He also is wheelchair-bound but has no problems talking, and can understand Michael pretty well. They strike up a friendship, and Rory starts to show Michael what life is like outside the home… leading to a bid for independent living.

The story is bittersweet, with some humour as well as a real insight into the lives of the severely disabled. The acting is wonderful. We couldn’t decide whether or not the actor playing Michael really did have cerebral palsy; so we watched the extras, which showed him as a young man with normal movement and speech. What an incredible actor.

Despite my initial reservations, we felt that this film was brilliantly made, and well worth watching. However, I wish there hadn’t been quite so much bad language – although in context it wasn’t inappropriate. But it was enough to give the film a 15 rating in the UK, and R in the US despite there being no violence, nudity or sex (despite some references).

Recommended nonetheless to any older teenager or adult wanting to see a little more of the world from the point of view of someone permanently in a wheelchair.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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