Movie Information

The Hendersonville Film Society will show Millions at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. (From Asheville, take I-26 to U.S. 64 West, turn right at the third light onto Thompson Street. Follow to the Lake Point Landing entrance and park in the lot on the left.)
Genre: Comedy/Fantasy
Director: Danny Boyle
Starring: Alex Etel, Lewis McGibbon, James Nesbitt, Daisy Donovan, Christopher Fulford, Alun Armstrong
Rated: PG

What better time could there be to revisit a Danny Boyle film than in the wake of his much-deserved Oscar win for Slumdog Millionaire? And what better film could you choose than his 2005 release Millions with its very different, yet oddly similar look at childhood under very different circumstances? In case you missed the film the first time around, Millions tells the story of what happens when a couple of kids—one very innocent, the other decidedly not so innocent—find a bag of stolen money. As part of Boyle’s filmography, the film can be seen as a look back to his first feature, Shallow Grave (1994), which also revolves (in very adult terms) around a bag of stolen money—while looking ahead to Slumdog, with its similar pairing of brothers with very different personalities.

Yet, it’s never less than its own film, with its innocent but never gooey view of childhood and childish beliefs. It remains—at this point—Boyle’s most fantasticated work. It eases in and out of imagined fantasy while never precluding the possibility that the fantasies in question (religious in nature) just might not be fantasies at all. The remarkable thing about the film is that it takes material that could easily have been sugary sweet to the point of inducing a diabetic coma and keeps it just edgy and cynical enough to never descend to that level. That’s no mean feat. It’s also a film that improves on subsequent viewings; so even if you have seen it, it’s more than worth another look.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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2 thoughts on “Millions

  1. Lady L

    I loved this movie. The playful direction and the sense of beauty that permeates the film make it one of my favorites.

  2. Ken Hanke

    I’d forgotten how good it was till I watched it again for this review. Actually, I liked it even better this time.

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