Evelyn Review

Desmond Doyle is a hard-drinking charmer whose wife has run off, leaving him to look after their three cherubic youngsters. Quicker than you can say, "But Da – the nuns!", they're whisked off to church-run orphanages, meaning their father must mend his wa

by Jane Howdle |
Published on
Release Date:

21 Mar 2003

Running Time:

95 minutes



Original Title:


Nuns? Check. Booze? Check. Fiddle player? Check. Why, we must be in Ireland! With these and other similarly predictable core ingredients, this fact-based period piece immediately reveals itself to be a shamelessly feel-good clichéathon.

Brosnan puts Bond on hold to play Desmond, a recently dumped Dublin decorator who's desperate to be reunited with his orphanage-dwelling kiddies (it's 1953, and the law doesn't allow for single fathers to raise children).

The performances are solid, but the script relies too heavily on 'touching' moments that too often fail to hit the spot. As the sentimental formula requires, Desmond must battle nuns, judges and alcohol habits to win back wilful Evelyn and her eminently forgettable little brothers. And, with the aid of inspirational love interest Bernadette (Margulies) and her lawyer connections, he's on his way to what's meant to be a heart-tugging courtroom finale. But like the rest of the film, the verdict is too telegraphed to cut deeply.

Only if you like your nostalgic custody battle dramas sugar-coated and predictably plotted.
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us