7.7/10
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Dear Frankie (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 15 April 2005 (USA)
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After having responded to her son's numerous letters in the guise of his father, a woman hires a stranger to pose as his dad when meeting him.

Director:

Shona Auerbach

Writer:

Andrea Gibb (screenplay)
8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emily Mortimer ... Lizzie
Jack McElhone ... Frankie
Mary Riggans Mary Riggans ... Nell
Sharon Small ... Marie
Sophie Main Sophie Main ... Serious Girl
Katy Murphy Katy Murphy ... Miss MacKenzie
Sean Brown ... Ricky Monroe
Jayd Johnson ... Catriona
Anna Hepburn Anna Hepburn ... Headmistress
Rony Bridges Rony Bridges ... Post Office Clerk
Douglas Stewart Wallace Douglas Stewart Wallace ... Stamp Shop Keeper
Elaine M. Ellis Elaine M. Ellis ... Librarian (as Elaine Mackenzie Ellis)
Carolyn Calder Carolyn Calder ... Barmaid
John Kazek John Kazek ... Ally
Gerard Butler ... The Stranger
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Storyline

Nine-year-old Frankie and his single mum Lizzie have been on the move ever since Frankie can remember, most recently arriving in a seaside Scottish town. Wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, Lizzie has invented a story that he is away at sea on the HMS Accra. Every few weeks, Lizzie writes Frankie a make-believe letter from his father, telling of his adventures in exotic lands. As Frankie tracks the ship's progress around the globe, he discovers that it is due to dock in his hometown. With the real HMS Accra arriving in only a fortnight, Lizzie must choose between telling Frankie the truth or finding the perfect stranger to play Frankie's father for just one day... Written by Pathe

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Release Date:

15 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Querido Frankie See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,542, 6 March 2005

Gross USA:

$18,025

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,656,829
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?

Trivia

The song that plays while Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) is sitting on a bench crying after a fruitless attempt to find a "daddy" for Frankie, is written by one of the most famous contemporary Estonian composer - Arvo Pärt. See more »

Goofs

When Lizzie is reading the last letter, it says "Thanks for the book" twice, but it is only read once. See more »

Quotes

Lizzie: It must be some life, seeing all those different places.
The Stranger: You should know... you've been writing from them for years.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... all at Deaf Connections, ... all at Sigma Films, ... Esther and Harvey ... See more »

Soundtracks

The Secret Sun
(2003)
Written by Jesse Harris
Published by Sony / ATV Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Jesse Harris and The Ferdinandos
Courtesy of the Verve Music Group
Licensed by kind permission from the Universal Film & TV Licensing Division
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Heart-Tugging Family Romance
12 March 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

"Dear Frankie" is a heart-tugging family romance with decidedly non-Hollywood touches that add to its charm and poignancy.

We are swept into both sides of an unusual epistolary relationship -- one between a mother and son, as each takes on alternative identities to communicate, and we get to hear their adopted voices as well.

The son is an isolated deaf kid who won't talk but pours out his heart in letters, while his fiercely protective mother pretends to be his fictional seagoing dad in response. We are drawn into their parallel stories from each perspective, as their defensively claustrophobic relationship has an outlet in this fictional geography as they gradually start dealing with the real world.

Emily Mortimer combines strength and naked vulnerability, as she did in "About Adam" and "Lovely and Amazing," while the son is captivating in an almost mimed role without being as treacly as the kid playing Peter in "Finding Neverland." Debut director Shona Auerbach keeps the movie tethered to reality with evocative use of Glasgow and its active port. We are anchored in a working class bloke territory that becomes a rocky shore for an untethered single mom living with her mother and her kid. This is tellingly symbolized when Mortimer braves a rough waterfront bar.

And then re-emphasized in a hotel tea parlor whose atmosphere electrically changes the minute rugged Gerard Butler pops up on screen. Epitomizing that cinematic manliness that is so talked about as lacking from most American actors these days, Butler's absolutely authentic masculinity instantly telescopes what this mother and child have been missing, and not just his sexual gravitas. Butler movingly demonstrates how a guy's guy plays paternal through such simple things as football, skipping stones, eating and of course dancing.

I don't know if I missed the clues to the concluding twists, but Hollywood would never let these lovely mysteries be, let alone as an achingly long look into each's eyes.

It's nice to see faces from Scottish TV shows in atypical roles, Sharon Small deservedly having a steady boyfriend on screen for a change, and Cal Macaninch, the nice guy from "Rockface" as the not nice guy here.

The Scots accents are thick and I did miss some punch lines in the dialog here and there.

The song selections are lovely, including a Damien Rice track that hasn't been overused yet.


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