EUFF 2017: My Name Is Emily
Mental stability and genius are two edges of a thin piece of wire. Robert (Michael Smiley) is bubbling under the wrong side of the ledger until his daughter Emily (Evanna Lynch) is born. Emily inspires Robert to fully blossoms as a person. He becomes a teacher and is moved to write a book turns into a bestseller.
The happiness is short lived though as Robert beings to loses grip when a car accident takes his wife’s life. Unable to care for his daughter, as he is placed in a mental hospital Emily ends up in a foster home in Dublin. When Emily does not receive her yearly birthday card from her father, she enlists the only friendly face in her new school, Arden (George Webster), to take a trip up north to break her dad out of the facility.
Writer/Director Simon Fitzmaurice, who is paralyzed due to A.L.S., crafts a tale that is heavy on both birthing imagery and lyrical death references. The story uses timely flashbacks to fill in many of the gaps in the story. Using the notion that “A fact is a point of view” as a key theme, Fitzmaurice challenges convention in an intriguing way. Cinematographer Seamus Deasy takes advantage with lush Irish countryside, using the green grasses and pale blues shots of the sea to enhance his creative palette.
My Name is Emily provides an interesting approach to the traditional coming-of-age story formula. It is Emily and Arden, and not the adults, who end up being the teachers in the film. This aspect, coupled with the fact that Fitzmaurice cuts out modern convince right such as mobile phones early on, makes for a pleasant story that I can recommend.