6.9/10
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33 user 48 critic

Liam (2000)

R | | Drama | 5 October 2001 (USA)
Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
A family falls into poverty during the Depression.

Director:

Stephen Frears

Writer:

Jimmy McGovern
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ian Hart ... Dad
Claire Hackett Claire Hackett ... Mum
Anthony Borrows ... Liam
David Hart David Hart ... Con
Megan Burns Megan Burns ... Teresa
Anne Reid ... Mrs. Abernathy
Russell Dixon Russell Dixon ... Father Ryan
Julia Deakin Julia Deakin ... Auntie Aggie
Andrew Schofield ... Uncle Tom
Bernadette Shortt Bernadette Shortt ... Lizzie
David Carey David Carey ... Lizzie's husband
David Knopov David Knopov ... Mr. Samuels
Jane Gurnett Jane Gurnett ... Mrs. Samuels
Gema Loveday Gema Loveday ... Jane Samuels
Martin Hancock ... David
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Storyline

A morality tale of xenophobia, religious prejudice, mob violence, poverty, and their effect on two children in Liverpool during the Depression. When a shipyard closes, Liam and Teresa's dad loses his job. Liam, who's about 8, making his first Holy Communion, gets a regular dose of fire and brimstone at church. Teresa, about 13, has a job as a maid to the Jewish family that owns the closed shipyard. The lady of that house is having an affair, and Teresa becomes an accomplice. Liam stutters terribly, especially when troubled. Dad comes under the sway of the Fascists, who blame cheap Irish labor and Jewish owners. A Molotov cocktail brings things to a head. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Big Heroes Come In Small Packages.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some nudity and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | France | Italy

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

5 October 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lapsuuden loppu See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP1,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,399, 23 September 2001

Gross USA:

$1,016,021

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,945,689
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Some of These Days
Composed by Shelton Brooks
Performed by Bernadette Shortt
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User Reviews

 
The realities of life through the eyes of an innocent.

When little Liam's father loses his job during the Depression, the family struggles to hold things together. As the world around them comes apart, we see how everyone in the family deals with the stress in their own way. Liam's dad joins the fascists, his brother attends secret meetings of the socialists, his sister goes to work as a housekeeper for a wealthy Jewish family, and Liam searches for answers in Catholicism, under the strict guidance of his haggard mum, his teacher, and the local priest.

As life becomes increasing more insecure, people begin to turn more desperately to their own belief system for answers. Religious, ideological, class and family ties all compete for primacy. We see Protestant versus Catholic, gentile versus Jew, fascist versus socialist, neighbor versus neighbor and father versus son. Unfortunately, life is not so simple as that, and each family member finds themselves torn between their loyalty to their loved ones, and their own pride and perception of righteousness. The tragic climax leaves no doubt as to the director's own perspective.

The young actor who plays Liam is perfectly cast as an innocent child forced to deal with the harsh realities of life. Although reminiscent of some recent films, this one is more raw than "Life is Beautiful" and more genuine than "Billy Elliot." This is not a movie for anyone who is merely seeking an escape, as it demands an intellectual commitment from the viewer. And while it makes some profound points beautifully, it ultimately leaves you with more questions than answers.


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