Tagline: Live life like you mean it.
Plot: The winner of the Audience Award at the 2004 Edinburgh International Film Festival, Rory O'Shea Was Here is an extraordinary story of determination that fuses highly emotional drama with bracingly boisterous humor. Inspired by the experiences of real people, the film follows two young men with physical disabilities as they band together and seize an opportunity to savor life on their own terms.
All his life, Michael Connolly (Steven Robertson) has lived in the residential care of Dublin's Carrigmore Home for the Disabled. Michael has cerebral palsy, uses a motorized wheelchair, and has a significant speech impairment. Most people find it difficult to make out what he is saying, and simply stop trying. But Rory O'Shea (James McAvoy), a new arrival at Carrigmore, is not like most people -- or any of the other Carrigmore residents. Rory is able to understand Michael. Rory has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative muscle-wasting condition. All Rory has are the use of two of his fingers, partial movements of his head -- and unlimited use of his mouth.
These two young men form a friendship that empowers them to look beyond Carrigmore and its inflexible supervisor Eileen (Brenda Fricker). After the rebellious and outspoken Rory masterminds a field trip to pub and nightclub,
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Discussion forum for this movie
Rory O'Shea Was Here treads a fine line between offering an unvarnished look at the tribulations of being disabled and stumbling into the realm of Hollywood-inspired claptrap. At its best, Damien O'Donnell's film peers into aspects of the lives of its protagonists that might be overlooked by other films. At its worst, it veers into a morass of cloying and artificial sentimentality.
--James Berardinelli (ReelViews)
Funny and moving, and more entertaining than some of the movies you are considering this weekend.
--Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Rory O'Shea Was Here" tips off its ending in its title, and of course, everyone realizes the value of a life well lived once its gone, even if it bugged the heck out of them at the time. On the other hand, the life that goes out of the film in its finalscenes confirms the lack of McAvoy's spirited presence. B-
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|Enjoyable, moving comedy-drama with likeable characters, a strong script and impressive performances by Robertson and McAvoy. |
--Matthew Turner (ViewLondon)