2006-03-30 12:11

Ireland, 1953: Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family and leaves him to take care of children Evelyn (9), Maurice (7) and Dennot (6) on his own. Things are made worse when Charlotte's abrasive mother reports the abandonment to the authorities. Desmond's unemployment and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children, make it clear to the authorities that his is an untenable situation.

Before Desmond knows what's happening, the Catholic Church and the Irish courts decide that a 1941 law mandates that the Doyle children be put into Church-run orphanages.

With the help of Bernadette, a feisty barmaid he has befriended, her solicitor brother Michael, their American lawyer friend Nick, and his old mentor, Thomas Connolly, Desmond goes to battle against Church and State. Hoping to win back his children, he attempts to do what has never been done before- challenge the constitutionality of a law before the Irish Supreme Court.

What the critics are saying:

"Playing the heartstrings with all the light-fingered expertise of a concert violinist, this feelgood comedy ticks off every conceivable Irish stereotype..."
- Jamie Russell, BBCi

"It's a gooey, slushy, sentimental yarn, based on a true story, packed with stereotypes..."
- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"Some might dismiss the film as mere hokum, but Evelyn has a rootsy, humane charm that resides in the faces of Brosnan and the remarkable Sophie Vavasseur..."
- Chuck Rudolph, Slant Magazine

A sentimental story about an Irish father's quest to regain custody of his children after a draconian law forces him to give them up. Some may find the film cliched and mawkish, but less cynical viewers will enjoy its simple charms.

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