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Rory O'Shea Was Here (2004)

Cast: James McAvoy, James McAvoy, Steven Robertson, more...
Director: Damien O'Donnell, Damien O'Donnell
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Foreign, UK
Running Time: 105 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Recently Rented By Ptaines

Two guys facing more challenges than most people learn some valuable lessons about life and love in this comedy drama. Michael Connolly (Steven Robertson) is a young man in his early twenties who suffers from cerebral palsy; confined to a wheelchair, Michael's speech is unintelligible to all but a handful of people, and his situation has made him shy and withdrawn as he spends his days at a home for the disabled in Dublin. One day, a new arrival moves in at the home -- Rory O'Shea (James McAvoy), a lad about Michael's age who suffers from muscular dystrophy and can only use two fingers on one hand. This, however, hasn't stopped Rory from developing a sharp tongue, a quick wit, a taste for alcohol, and the courage to put the moves on any women who crosses his path. Rory can also understand Michael's attempts at speech, and Rory puts his outsized personality to work encouraging his new friend to become more outgoing and not to let life pass him by, despite his handicaps. In time, Rory and Michael are able to convince Eileen (Brenda Fricker), director of the home, that they should be allowed to get an apartment on their own, and the boys use their stipend to rent a flat and hire an assistant to help with the tasks they can't manage. Rory chooses Siobhan (Romola Garai) for the job, mainly because she's blonde and pretty, and she soon becomes attracted to him; unfortunately, Michael has fallen in love with her, and this leads to a major rift between him and Rory that drives them apart. Screened in the United Kingdom as Inside I'm Dancing and in the United States as Rory O'Shea Was Here, the film won the Audience Award at the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Manipulative, but It Works by talltale June 14, 2005 - 4:27 PM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Directed by Damien O'Donnell (who did the magical "Heartlands") and written by Jeffrey Caine, RORY O'SHEA WAS HERE doesn't quite make it to the level of O'Donnell's earlier movie. It IS a four-hankie weepie, however, with lovely performances from all concerned. But too many of the events seem more manipulative than believable--even if they do provide amusement and charm.

Oddly, the most moving character here is Rory's relatively clueless but, oh, so caring father, wonderfully performed by Tom Hickey. His last, brief, wordless scene in the hospital will break your heart. Michael Connolly, who plays the cerebral palsied Steven, is spot on, as well. (He reminded me so much of an egg delivery man I knew as a child in California who suffered from the same disease.)

This one's definitely worth a look, even if it doesn't quite cross the finish line. And, as is often the case, it was a smart move NOT to use the alternate--way too sentimental--ending.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.68)
19 Votes
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