I had a post brewing about crickets and Candleford and women in sports when synchronicity stepped in and steered my thoughts elsewhere. It happens, now and then, and, well, really rather often as I putter about here on the Cutoff. Does it happen to you as well? When Miss Synchronicity stops by in such a way, I cannot ignore her. This is a replay of a very early post that I have rewritten to fit in today.
A gathering of old friends occurred last week, brought on by the out-of-town visitors, Jeri and Kyle. We were eating desert in Vickie and Mike’s charming and rustic gazebo, catching up on our children and grandchildren, adventures and endeavors and those sort of things when we got to talking about movies. Not the blockbuster types, but the little gems we’ve discovered. Everyone had something to recommend, some seemingly tailor-made for each one of us.
I suggested a movie I thought Cathy and Bill would enjoy. Both are Chicago born and bred; South Side Irish with roots deep into the soil of Ireland and a love for our own Windy City. They are the “salt of the earth” sort of people, longtime friends, and godparents to our Katy. Both seem to enjoy history and Bill law and the judicial system. I thought they would enjoy a little film of about ten years ago called Evelyn.
As I was channel surfing Monday night it was none other than Evelyn that popped up on my television screen. Miss Synchronicity had come to call, so I happily let her in. I was once again enchanted by angel rays, love of family, and how a few good folks really can change the status quo, right some wrongs whilst tilting at the windmills of life.
The story is fictionally based on a real incident in Ireland in the 1950′s involving a father trying to regain custody of his children. They are placed in orphanages by the state because their father, Desmond Doyle, is a single father with unsteady wages and the “love of the drink”. His wife has abandoned the family, but, because she is still alive, the children are taken from Doyle, who cannot get them back without her signature. The Irish Children’s Act of 1941 is what allows this to happen. His only recourse is to challenge the Irish constitution, which, at that time, was unheard of.
The children are two boys and a girl, Evelyn, who is the oldest. The young actress who plays her is engaging and believable as the movie portrays both the good and the bad sides of the Catholic church in Ireland at a time when much of its children were in church run orphanages.
There is a scene of the first night Evenly is in the orphanage, where Evelyn is reprimanded for sleeping on her side, an act that would allow the devil to do his work. A nun tells her she will watch her all night to make sure she didn’t sleep this way. There is also a scene where Evelyn is beaten, which later figures in to the court case. There are, however, equally tender moments, with a loving Sister who is kind to Evelyn and the other girls. It is really a movie of hope and optimism that things can be changed for the better.
As Evelyn is dropped off by her grandfather at the orphanage, there is a pivotal scene in the movie. Her own father, Doyle, played by Pierce Brosnan, to perfection I might add, is simultaneously bringing the boys to their own institution. Evelyn is sitting with Grandad by a window when a ray of sunshine suddenly shines through onto her hand. He tells her that it is an angel ray, her guardian, always waiting to help her.
Desmond Doyle is eventually aided by local and not-so-local solicitors, played by the likes of Aidan Quinn, Alan Bates, and Stephen Rea. It is ten-year old Evelyn whose light really shines on the screen as she gently shows how truth and tolerance, faithfulness and forgiveness can make us all better persons.
This morning, I once again let the sunshine dance upon my hand. I felt its warmth, even though I knew the day would become simmering and hot, and I pretended it was my very own angel ray sent to help me along the Cutoff again today.
Here is an article that I found, which seems to have just been published today, about the real Evelyn Doyle. Synchronitic?
The clips above were from Google.