The Butcher Boy (film)

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The Butcher Boy (film)
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Year Released: 1997
MPAA Rating (USA): R
Director: Neil Jordan
Starring: Eamonn Owens


The Butcher Boy (1997) is a film based on the Patrick McCabe novel of the same name. Set in Ireland in the early 1960s, it portrays the life of the young teen Francie (Eammon Owens), who lives with his drunken father and obsessive/depressive mother.

He has difficulty controlling himself, largely due to the instability in his home. He eventually finds himself very alone in the world, causing him insanity. He takes extreme measures against those who he believes harmed him, but later regrets.

The story is narrated by Francie as an adult, much like Stand By Me was.

Plot

"The film is set Ireland in the early 1960s in the small town of Clones. Francie Brady (Eamonn Owens) is a 12-year-old boy whose imagination is fuelled by television - aliens, communists, the Atomic Age. When his mother (Aisling O'Sullivan) suffers a nervous breakdown, he is left in the care of his father (Stephen Rea), an emotionally distant and ill-tempered alcoholic. Francie spends most of his time with his best friend Joe Purcell (Alan Boyle) talking about gangsters, cowboys and Indians, comic-book monsters and the early-1960s threat of nuclear annihilation. However, when Francie's growing conflict with another boy, Phillip Nugent (Andrew Fullerton), and his mother (Fiona Shaw) begins to go too far, he ends up at reform school. Here, he is molested by a priest (Milo O'Shea), and finds solace only in his fantasies about a foul-mouthed Virgin Mary (Sinéad O'Connor). He returns home to find that his mother has committed suicide, Joe has outgrown him, and that his father has drunk himself to death. Faced with being left completely alone in the world, he loses his grip on reality and lashes out with uncontrollable brutality, which shocks his provincial hometown."[1]

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