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Give Them Wings review – a very dark work

August 6, 2022

This review of the movie Give Them Wings contains no spoilers.

Sean Cronin directs this kitchen sink drama based on the true story of Paul Hodgson, who has meningitis, and is an unwavering, dark slice of British cinema that’s often hard to watch in its honest portrayal of life’s suffering from Paul.

The film stars newcomer Daniel Watson as Paul Hodgson, a rising star who won Best Actor at the Richard Harris International Film Festival for his performance as the disabled Paul Hodgson. GIVE THEM WINGS also co-stars music legend Toyah Willcox (Quadrophenia, Storm) and Bill Fellows (Broadchurch, Downton Abbey).

Give them wings is directed by actor Sean Cronin, a well-known face, often playing villains in franchises such as James Bond and Impossible mission. He also directed human interest stories like the WW1 movie Eleven and An unhappy woman. This film is an adaptation of Hogson’s award-winning autobiography Flipper’s side.

The film, set in 1989, tells the story of Paul’s harrowing journey to acceptance and follows in the footsteps of films such as my left foot and Billy Elliot. The late ’80s setting is worth noting, as some scenes are particularly upsetting and may upset some viewers.

Sean Cronin said: “Give them wings is a hugely important film that tackles and reverses disability discrimination, a film that teaches humanity that we need to accept people for ‘who they are’ and not for what they ‘appear to be’ . I was very honored to have been chosen to bring Paul’s incredible story to the big screen”.

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The movie itself is often a very dark piece of work, and for some, the cast’s relentless desperation can make for a tough watch.

Paul goes through the most traumatic events over the duration of the film, and Daniel Watson gives a riveting performance. The rest of the cast also rose to the occasion, and as a fan of his earlier career, it was also wonderful to see Toyah Wilcox back on screen.

Cronin runs production with a steady hand, and it has all the aesthetics to suit the material. Maybe a few extra touches could have helped with the Play For Today style of presentation, but overall it’s a solid offering.

If you remember the golden age of British film slice-of-life presentations, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. I wonder if a more international audience will be completely on board, it’s a very British production and that’s reflected in the very DNA of the film, and the final act feels slightly over the top and at odds with the previous two acts, but if you are invested enough, you will probably run with it.

The review for Give Them Wings – Very Dark Work appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.