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Inside I'm Dancing
Everybody now - 'Wheels on fire, rollin down the rooooooad...'.

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Michael (Robertson) has cerebal palsy and lives a dull existence in the hushed rooms of Carrigmore Home For The Disabled. But after the arrival of Rory (McAvoy), also wheelchair-bound but fiercely free-spirited, the two young men leave the home on a quest for independence.

After the breakout success of East Is East, Damien O'Donnell announced that he was to leave comedy behind to try his hand at other genres. But just as East's gags came accompanied by serious themes and a burst of brutality, so his latest is a drama with a healthy streak of irreverent, crowdpleasing humour.

Much of it is due to Rory (Wimbledon's James McAvoy), whose bitter volleys of sarcasm are precisely targeted to wound the objects of his ire. By turning what could have been a helpless, sympathy-grabbing hero into a helpless, obnoxious anti-hero, O'Donnell avoids easy sentimentality and creates much-needed ambiguity. Does he befriend Michael out of genuine affection, or just because he needs someone to impress? McAvoy's charming performance makes it easy to give Rory the benefit of the doubt.

Newcomer Steven Robertson, meanwhile, delivers a solid turn as the super-smart Michael. His and McAvoy's interplay is consistently impressive, especially in a scene which sees the pair trying to pick up some girls.

The script doesn't provide quite enough detail for their characters to justify the emotional ending, but O'Donnell should be lauded for offering a sensitive portrayal of disabled people without ever being patronising.

Noble in intention and cheeky in delivery, Inside I'm Dancing nimbly dodges the subject matter's pitfalls.

Reviewed by Nick De Semlyen

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Average user rating for Inside I'm Dancing
Empire Star Rating

Changed my views

This film breaks all boundaries: I laughed and cried but above all, the film has made me want to get out more and live life to the full. Watch this and you will probably feel the same. Amazing. ... More

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Posted by Balian of Ibelin at 19:38, 26 April 2008 | Report This Post

RE: fascinating

fantastic film.  lovely, funny and heart breaking. ... More

Posted by riversbend at 00:32, 16 March 2006 | Report This Post

RE: fascinating

Very good Irish movie. As im Irish myself it annoys me that great movies like this made in Ireland get so little recognition. Its touching without being overly sentimental and is hilarious at times. A great movie that I recommend to all ... More

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Posted by kingp_35 at 19:28, 15 March 2006 | Report This Post

RE: fascinating

i thought the name was a joke. i mean..its about people in wheelchairs...who can't dance. because their legs don't work. so they can only dance me a fantastically stupid title for a film about the disabled.. ... More

Posted by maffew at 10:36, 15 March 2006 | Report This Post


Excellent, really gripped me, forgot they were disabled, beautifully emotional, believable, great watch. ... More

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Posted by Winniethewitch at 15:23, 11 March 2006 | Report This Post

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