ORPHANS

Grieving Siblings

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: March 10, 2000

Starring: Douglas Henshall, Gary Lewis, Rosemarie Stevenson, Stephen Cole, & Frank Galagher

Genre: Black Comedy

Audience: Adults

Rating: Not rated

Runtime: 102 minutes

Distributor: The Shooting Gallery

Director: Peter Mullan

Executive Producer: Paddy Higson

Producer: Frances Higson

Writer: Peter Mullan

Address Comments To:

Eamonn Bowles, President
Shooting Gallery Films
145 Avenue of the Americas, 7th Floor
New York City, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 243-3042
Fax: (212) 647-1392
Web Page: www.shootinggallery.com

Content:

(RoRo, CC, Ab, Pa, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, D, M) Romantic worldview about four siblings coping with the death of their mother, one of them a devout Roman Catholic who quotes Scripture at a crucial moment, with some elements that appear to be anti-Christian or are borderline anti-Christian & some magic realism motifs; at least 241 mostly strong obscenities & 15 mostly strong profanities, plus some vulgarities & image of toilet & body fluid; some strong violence with blood such as implied stab wound eventually bleeds through much of man’s shirtfront, fight & struggles in pubs, two nearly attempted murders, man almost shoots baby, man advocates murder, man’s leg badly shot, people bind & gag pub owner after he locks them up in back room & tries to get them arrested for minor offenses, man pokes another man’s nude rear-end with shotgun, two men invade a house, man starts to take married woman upstairs to rape her, two men throw darts at man’s rear end, people burst through door, door knocks man down & woman stomps up & down on him, woman hits man with her wheelchair & accidentally smashes statue of the Virgin Mary, & storm blows roof off church building; depicted masturbation scene & voyeurism; partial female nudity in photos & rear male nudity in sexual context & man in underwear & upper male nudity in naturalistic context; alcohol use, drunkenness & man puts down idea of being sober all the time when ex-wife refers to her AA meeting; and, miscellaneous immorality, such as fits of rage, stubbornness, arguments between siblings, & devout Roman Catholic brother shows signs of caring more for dead parents than his brothers & handicapped sister.

Summary:

ORPHANS is a very vulgar, subtitled Scottish movie about how three adult brothers and their handicapped adult sister cope with the sudden death of their mother. ORPHANS has some Christian elements, including a lengthy quotation from Scripture about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it is also filled with a constant barrage of harsh obscenities, some strong profanities, a few bloody images, some miscellaneous immorality, and a romantic worldview.

Review:

ORPHANS is a very vulgar, subtitled Scottish movie that won four awards at the Venice International Film Festival. Set against a backdrop of wild weather and wilder emotions, it tells the story of three adult brothers and their handicapped adult sister (Thomas, Michael, John, and Sheila) coping with the sudden death of their mother. They deal with their loss in various ways, including fits of rage, ritual, violence, obsession, withdrawal, vandalism, and insanity. The funeral of their mother is tomorrow morning, if they can make it through the night.

In the story, Gary Lewis, the father in BILLY ELLIOTT, plays Thomas, the eldest brother. Thomas has taken over care of his handicapped sister from his mother, but is still suffering tremendous grief. He and his siblings gather at a karaoke pub to get away from their sorrows. One man laughs at Thomas, however, when Thomas starts to cry while singing a song dedicated to his mother. Michael angrily starts a fight with the man, who stabs Michael in the stomach. Michael leaves the pub with John, the youngest brother. When John realizes that Michael has been stabbed, John hails a taxi to take Michael to the hospital, but the taxi driver refuses to carry a bleeding man in his cab. John decides he’s going to kill the man who stabbed Michael. He and Michael get into an argument over John’s wild plan, and John angrily walks away, ready to do violence. Michael decides he wants to claim his injury is work related so he waits to get it treated until after he fakes an accident the next day at work.

While Michael and John wander the city, Thomas and Sheila are at the church with their mother’s coffin. Thomas has promised to watch over his mother’s body all night, but Sheila wants to go home. When Thomas refuses to take her, she hits Thomas with her wheelchair, which knocks over the statue of the Virgin Mary, smashing it to pieces. Angry, Thomas tells Sheila to wheel herself home, and Sheila rides off into the city. The rest of the movie tells what happens to each sibling in the city and at the church.

ORPHANS is a movie about the grieving process, but does not give any direct Christian or biblical answers about dealing with a death in the family. Among the four siblings, Thomas is the most devout Christian, although Michael seems to have more compassion for other people than his brother does. A priest recites Christian doctrine at the funeral, and Thomas recites 1 Cor. 15 about the victory over death that Jesus Christ brings, but Thomas learns that he should comfort the living rather than console the dead. Thus, the movie seems to take a romantic view of Christianity, especially how Thomas uses ritual to cope with his mother’s death, a behavior appearing to cause him to withdraw from his brothers and sister. ORPHANS is also filled with a constant barrage of harsh obscenities, a very crude masturbation scene involving a Peeping Tom, some strong profanities, excessive violence, and a few bloody images.

In Brief:

ORPHANS is a vulgar, subtitled Scottish movie. Set against a backdrop of wild weather and wilder emotions, it tells the story of three adult brothers and their handicapped adult sister coping with the sudden death of their mother. They deal with their loss in various ways, including rage, ritual, violence, withdrawal, and insanity. The funeral of their mother is in the morning, if they can make it through the night.

ORPHANS is a movie about grieving, but does not give any Christian answers about dealing with a death in the family. A priest recites Christian doctrine at the funeral and the eldest brother, Thomas, recites 1 Cor. 15 about the victory over death that Jesus Christ brings, but Thomas must learn that he should comfort the living rather than console the dead. The movie seems to take a romantic view of Christianity, especially how Thomas uses ritual to cope with his mother’s death. His behavior appears to cause him to withdraw from his brothers and sister. ORPHANS is also filled with a constant barrage of harsh obscenities, a crude sex scene involving a Peeping Tom, some strong profanities, excessive violence, and miscellaneous immorality.