Evelyn Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
For Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan), there is not much to be merry about during the 1953 Christmas season. Lack of employment for the painter/decorator has left little under the tree for the children, and created big problems with his spouse. But just when the Irishman thinks life can’t get worse, his wife runs off with another man.
In the wake of her rash decision, Desmond shoulders the responsibility of his three youngsters with some help from his aging Father (Frank Kelly). However, the SPCC (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) soon intervenes, and places the children into the care of the Catholic Church. While the boys settle into the strict environment fairly well, his oldest daughter Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur) sparks the temper of a short-fused nun (Andrea Irvine).
Desperate to have his family back under one roof, the single father secures work in order to prove he is a fit provider. Then, when he discovers the authorities will still not allow them to be reunited, he considers kidnapping or even taking them by force.
Failing in every attempt, Desmond turns to drink. In a pub he meets a sympathetic attendant named Bernadette Beattie (Julianna Margulies), who introduces the despairing dad to her lawyer brother. With his aid, and the compassionate support of some other colleagues, the Doyle custody case prepares to do battle with the court’s long-established family laws and the Irish Constitution.
Evelyn contains salty language as well as many portrayals of smoking and alcohol consumption (often used as a way to “forget”), gambling utilized as a revenue source, inferred adulterous relationships, heartless officials, and a few negative insinuations against the Catholic Church.
Yet Desmond’s devotion to his family motivates this man to tackle the two hardest problems in his life: Getting his kids back, and giving up his addiction. Although a somewhat sentimental adaptation of a true story, the film also offers a beautiful depiction of a grandfather’s gentle love. His legacy helps little Evelyn courageously face the scariest trial of her life, where she exemplifies faith and forgiveness.Starring Pierce Brosnan, Frank Kelly, Sophie Vavasseur. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release December 2, 2002. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is Evelyn rated PG? Evelyn is rated PG by the MPAA
An Irish father is forced to fight the establishment after his wife deserts him, and the government places his young children in the care of the Catholic Church. Based on the real life plight of Desmond Doyle, Evelyn recounts the precedent setting case with the inclusion of excessive drinking and language concerns.
A parents’ argument is overheard. Man claims he never hit a woman even though she gave him just cause. An angry man takes a swing at a priest who returns the punch. A nun straps a child’s hands, and strikes another across the face. Man clenches nun’s face in his hands while uttering a threat. Man falls from a wall slight injuries shown. Man’s crotch is snagged while climbing a barbwire fence. Man with gun and guard dogs chases a trespasser. Rugby players tackle one another.
Sexual Content: B+
A woman leaves her husband for another man. Brief jokes are made about a wife’s lack of passion, and Oscar Wilde’s sexual orientation. Woman resists a man’s kiss, and refers to his marital status. A couple kisses on two occasions.
At least: 7 moderate and 14 mild profanities, 12 terms of deity used as expletives, 1 crude anatomical phrase, and various name-calling.
Alcohol / Drug Use: C
Main character smokes and drinks excessively through out. Other characters are also shown drinking and smoking. Many scenes take place in a pub setting. Alcohol is also consumed on social occasions and from pocket flasks. Drinking and driving is portrayed.
Character claims the church and state are in cahoots. A nun is depicted as controlling and abusive. Authority figures are shown as unbending and unfeeling. The Irish are shown as having a very accepting attitude toward drinking. Gambling is portrayed positively.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
Evelyn Parents' Guide
In the movie, one of the characters claims, “Law and justice are two different things.” Is this sometimes true? How do you think this inequality comes about?
Evelyn Doyle’s published memoirs are the inspiration for this film. For a quick look at some of the differences between her account and the movie, check out the book reports here. Please note this is Amazon’s UK site… her book has not been released to North America at this time.
What do you think motivates the changes made when a book undergoes the film adaptation process?