dir. Bruce Beresford

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If your social circle spends the holidays at the movies and includes at least one treacle-huffing old simpleton who insists on seeing something that can be described as "entertainment for the whole family," you may find yourself forced to sit through this story about an Irish father (Pierce Brosnan) who in 1954 got his children back from church custody through a little lawyering and a whole lot of angel rays. Alan Bates does an Irish turn. Obligatory nuns, obligatory singing in pubs, obligatory bookie with a heart of gold. Evelyn, the daughter, whose freckled cheek you will long to slap, testifies in court. Eventually it ends.

How will you survive? As you sit suffering, compile a list of anachronisms, dialect faults, and other impossibilities in the film; it will be a long list. To the person who submits the longest list--which I myself will verify at enormous psychological cost by sitting through the whole movie once again when it comes out on video--I promise a genuine Irish banger (sausage). The lucky winner may choose between the two varieties. One tastes like cardboard-flavored grease; the other tastes like grease-flavored cardboard. Either will bring back memories of this movie.