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    My Left Foot


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    There are many excuses to start drinking, most of which are stretched as an attempt to justify the self-imposed intoxication, but some are hard to imagine surviving completely sober. “My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown” is one of these heartbreakers. The versatile Daniel Day-Lewis stars in his breakout performance as the Irish Christy Brown, a man born with cerebral palsy and who could only control his left foot.


    While everyone in his Dublin slum assumed that he was also intellectually disabled (since he could not speak to translate his perfectly fine thoughts), he spent the first 10 years of his life being treated as such. That is, until he managed to pick up a piece of chalk and write the word “mother” on the floor, showing that he was normal. Despite their hurdles, Christy grew up in a very close and loving family, but this didn’t stop him from becoming severely depressed from his condition.

    Seeing his body as a prison and whisky as a key, Christy soon develops a taste for the mental numbness and a way to relieve his frustration, even if for a short amount of time. Of course, due to his physical limitations, his booze had to be bought and given to him, meaning that winning each drink was met with constant guilt-bearing manipulation to whoever had the task of getting him drunk to the point of passing out.


    The film is hardly meant to be sympathetic with Christy constantly fighting anyone who tries to help with slurred, tight vulgarities and is as stubborn and difficult as anyone in his situation would be. However, even though his story can inspire people to overcome their problems and make something great, the guy himself is depressed despite his successes with painting and writing his own autobiography with only his left foot.

    The film won the Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Actress in Supporting Role and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, along with many other accolades. The film is also known for Day-Lewis’ first full-on attempt in method acting, during which he refused to break character and even remained in a wheelchair (which other people had to push, since his character was unable to do so himself) when there were no cameras rolling.

    Susannah Farrugia

    Taste of Cinema

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