Release Date: March 10, 2000
Genre: Black Comedy
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
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.
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.