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:: Millions

This delightful family film is the last thing we might have expected from Danny Boyle, the director of Trainspotting and 28 Days later. It is the story of two young boys who find an enormous bag of money while playing near the railway. How much is it? Well, to seven-year-old Damien (Alex Etel) and his big brother Anthony (Lewis Owen McGibbon), it looks like millions.

Having just lost their mother and moved to a new house with their father (James Nesbitt), the boys assume God’s finally giving something back and embark on plans to spend the cash. Damien is keen to alleviate poverty like the saints in his books, but in his pristine new suburb poor people might be hard to come by. With the wisdom of age, Anthony sees only selfish opportunities and dreams of winning friends and spending up big. Only two things complicate their fantasies. Firstly, England is about to convert to the Euro so they have only one week to spend the old money before it’s worthless. Secondly, its real owner is a crook and he wants it back.

Flights of fancy are interspersed throughout “Millions” with Damien happily chatting to people only he can see and picturing the future as though it were crystal clear. The ‘dream sequence’ device is always a risk for filmmakers, yet it fits naturally into this film in the way that imagination is a fact of life for children. The endless possibilities let the audience share in the boys’ excitement and make it a very engaging story for any age. It is the film debut of both Etel and McGibbon but they lead the film with confidence and prove themselves natural comics.

Damien and Anthony have a powerful protector in their father and scary moments are soon resolved, making this a suitable film for the under 12’s. Young children will find a sound role model in Damien with his innocently generous nature and even adults should enjoy the refreshing and quirky fun of Millions.