Movie review by Andrea Karen Hammer
Millions is an imaginative, unique and unconventional holiday movie that raises an interesting question: What would you do if a bag of money unexpectedly landed at your feet?
The simultaneously innocent and wise boy Damian (Alex Etel), at the center of the Millions film, wants to help others with his newfound treasure. With an extraordinarily expressive face and captivating manner, Alex Etel is a wonder to watch as he navigates his partially dreamed-up world. From his self-created cardboard-box tunnel near the train tracks to conversations with with saints, Damian shows that a creative mind and purity of intention can achieve the ultimate purpose: living beyond one’s own needs and serving others.
Gaining Sympathy and Paying Kids to Become Posse
His older brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon), is a stark contrast as someone squarely grounded in reality. In particular, he capitalizes on their mother’s death to gain sympathy–and freebies from cashiers. He also pays other kids to become his posse and give him rides to school on their bikes while carrying his bags. Embodying the essence of a manipulative personality empowered by money, Lewis McGibbon delivers an accurate but often disturbing performance, especially given his young age.
Young Widower Coping With Loss While Raising Boys
As the boys’ father (Ronnie), James Nesbitt conveys the struggle of a young widower trying to cope with his own loss while raising two boys. From checking for clean hands before racing the boys to school and giving “team pep talks” about their mother wanting them to live a happy life, Ronnie ultimately goes off the track in the way he finally handles the discovered money. In a stirring speech about needing to look out for themselves, James Nesbitt visibly shows the moment when someone crosses a jagged line.
Memorable Scenes in Uniquely Conceived Movie
One of the most memorable scenes in the Millions film is the 5-minute reunion that Damian has with his departed mother (Jane Hogarth). Their moving conversation, which Anthony witnesses from a distance, is an important step in the boys’ experience and a critical one toward the resolution of this uniquely conceived film.
The joyful moments at the end of the Millions film also remind viewers that a collaborative effort to put together a few “pence” can make a massive difference for others in need.