My Left Foot (film)
Overview
My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 drama film
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

 directed by Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan is an Irish film director. A six-time Academy Award nominee, Sheridan is perhaps best known for his films My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Get Rich or Die Tryin and In America.-Life and career:...

 and starring Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. His portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot and Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood won Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, and Screen Actors Guild as well as Golden Globe Awards for the latter...

. It tells the true story of Christy Brown
Christy Brown
Christy Brown was an Irish author, painter and poet who had cerebral palsy. He is most famous for his autobiography My Left Foot, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name....

, an Irishman
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 born with cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement....

, who could control only his left foot. Christy Brown grew up in a poor, working class family, and became a writer and artist. The film also stars Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally was an Irish actor famous for his performances in films such as The Mission, My Left Foot, and A Very British Coup.-Background:...

, Brenda Fricker
Brenda Fricker
Brenda Fricker is an Irish actress of theatre, film and television. She had appeared in more than 30 films and television roles...

, Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw, CBE is an Irish actress and theatre director. Although to international audiences she is probably most familiar for her minor role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films, she is an accomplished classical actress...

, Julie Hale
Julie Hale
Julie Hale is an Irish actress. To international audiences she is probably most familiar for her role as Rachael in My Left Foot. She played Terry Deegan in award winning Irish Soap Fair City...

, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan, Declan Croghan, Eanna MacLiam, Marie Conmee, and Cyril Cusack
Cyril Cusack
Cyril James Cusack was an Irish actor, who appeared in more than 90 films.-Early life:Cusack was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, the son of Alice Violet , an actress, and James Walter Cusack, a sergeant in the Natal mounted police. His parents separated when he was young and his mother took...

. It was adapted by Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan from the book of the same name
My Left Foot (book)
My Left Foot is the 1954 autobiography of Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy on June 5, 1932 in Dublin, Ireland. As one of 13 surviving children, Brown went on to be an author, painter and poet.-Childhood:...

 by Christy Brown
Christy Brown
Christy Brown was an Irish author, painter and poet who had cerebral palsy. He is most famous for his autobiography My Left Foot, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name....

.

It won the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 (Brenda Fricker).
Encyclopedia
My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 drama film
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

 directed by Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan is an Irish film director. A six-time Academy Award nominee, Sheridan is perhaps best known for his films My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, Get Rich or Die Tryin and In America.-Life and career:...

 and starring Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. His portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot and Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood won Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, and Screen Actors Guild as well as Golden Globe Awards for the latter...

. It tells the true story of Christy Brown
Christy Brown
Christy Brown was an Irish author, painter and poet who had cerebral palsy. He is most famous for his autobiography My Left Foot, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name....

, an Irishman
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 born with cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement....

, who could control only his left foot. Christy Brown grew up in a poor, working class family, and became a writer and artist. The film also stars Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally
Ray McAnally was an Irish actor famous for his performances in films such as The Mission, My Left Foot, and A Very British Coup.-Background:...

, Brenda Fricker
Brenda Fricker
Brenda Fricker is an Irish actress of theatre, film and television. She had appeared in more than 30 films and television roles...

, Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw
Fiona Shaw, CBE is an Irish actress and theatre director. Although to international audiences she is probably most familiar for her minor role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films, she is an accomplished classical actress...

, Julie Hale
Julie Hale
Julie Hale is an Irish actress. To international audiences she is probably most familiar for her role as Rachael in My Left Foot. She played Terry Deegan in award winning Irish Soap Fair City...

, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan, Declan Croghan, Eanna MacLiam, Marie Conmee, and Cyril Cusack
Cyril Cusack
Cyril James Cusack was an Irish actor, who appeared in more than 90 films.-Early life:Cusack was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, the son of Alice Violet , an actress, and James Walter Cusack, a sergeant in the Natal mounted police. His parents separated when he was young and his mother took...

. It was adapted by Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan from the book of the same name
My Left Foot (book)
My Left Foot is the 1954 autobiography of Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy on June 5, 1932 in Dublin, Ireland. As one of 13 surviving children, Brown went on to be an author, painter and poet.-Childhood:...

 by Christy Brown
Christy Brown
Christy Brown was an Irish author, painter and poet who had cerebral palsy. He is most famous for his autobiography My Left Foot, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name....

.

It won the Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 (Brenda Fricker). It was also nominated for Best Director
Academy Award for Directing
The Academy Award for Achievement in Directing , usually known as the Best Director Oscar, is one of the Awards of Merit presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to directors working in the motion picture industry...

, Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

 and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay
The Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, the most prominent film awards in the United States. It is awarded each year to the writer of a screenplay adapted from another source...

.

It also won the NYFCC Best Picture Award
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1989
The 55th New York Film Critics Circle Awards honored the best filmmaking of 1989. The winners were announced on 18 December 1989 and the awards were given on 14 January 1990.-Winners:*Best Actor:**Daniel Day-Lewis - My Left Foot...

 for 1989.

Cast

  • Daniel Day-Lewis
    Daniel Day-Lewis
    Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. His portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot and Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood won Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, and Screen Actors Guild as well as Golden Globe Awards for the latter...

     as Christy Brown
    Christy Brown
    Christy Brown was an Irish author, painter and poet who had cerebral palsy. He is most famous for his autobiography My Left Foot, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name....

  • Brenda Fricker
    Brenda Fricker
    Brenda Fricker is an Irish actress of theatre, film and television. She had appeared in more than 30 films and television roles...

     as Bridget Brown
  • Ray McAnally
    Ray McAnally
    Ray McAnally was an Irish actor famous for his performances in films such as The Mission, My Left Foot, and A Very British Coup.-Background:...

     as Paddy Brown
  • Fiona Shaw
    Fiona Shaw
    Fiona Shaw, CBE is an Irish actress and theatre director. Although to international audiences she is probably most familiar for her minor role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter films, she is an accomplished classical actress...

     as Dr. Eileen Cole
  • Hugh O'Conor
    Hugh O'Conor
    Hugh O'Conor is an Irish actor. His first film appearance was opposite Liam Neeson in the 1985 movie Lamb. Currently, he has two upcoming projects: Finding Fate and Operation H²O.-Biography:...

     as young Christy Brown
    Christy Brown
    Christy Brown was an Irish author, painter and poet who had cerebral palsy. He is most famous for his autobiography My Left Foot, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film of the same name....

  • Kirsten Sheridan
    Kirsten Sheridan
    Kirsten Sheridan is an Irish film director and screenwriter. The director of August Rush and Disco Pigs , Sheridan was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the semi-autobiographical film In America with her father, director Jim Sheridan, and her sister, Naomi Sheridan.-Biography:Born in...

     as Sharon Brown
  • Alison Whelan as Sheila Brown
  • Eanna MacLiam as Benny Brown
  • Declan Croghan as Tom Brown
  • Marie Conremme as Sadie Brown
  • Cyril Cusack
    Cyril Cusack
    Cyril James Cusack was an Irish actor, who appeared in more than 90 films.-Early life:Cusack was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, the son of Alice Violet , an actress, and James Walter Cusack, a sergeant in the Natal mounted police. His parents separated when he was young and his mother took...

     as Lord Castlewelland
  • Phelim Drew
    Phelim Drew
    Phelim Drew is an Irish actor.Phelim Drew is the son of the Irish folk singer Ronnie Drew, one of the founders of The Dubliners. He graduated at Gaiety School of Acting. In 1989 Phelim Drew gave his debut as an actor in My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown.Phelim Drew ist married to Actress...

     as Brian
  • Ruth McCabe as Mary Carr

Awards and nominations

My Left Foot's awards are bolded and nominations are also listed.
Academy Awards
62nd Academy Awards
The 62nd Academy Awards were presented March 26, 1990 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. The venue, half the size of the one used the previous year, prompted Gil Cates and Karl Malden to put a memo to "our friends in the industry" in the March 13th edition of the Daily...

:
    • Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis)
    • Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Fricker)
    • Best Director (Jim Sheridan)
    • Best Picture
    • Best Screenplay - Adapted (Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan)


BAFTA Film Awards:
    • Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis)
    • Best Supporting Actor (Ray McAnally)
    • Best Film
    • Best Makeup (Ken Jennings)
    • Best Screenplay - Adapted (Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan)


European Film Awards:
    • Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis)


Golden Globe Awards:
    • Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis)
    • Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Fricker)


Independent Spirit Awards:
    • Best Foreign Film


London Film Critics:
    • Actor of the Year (Daniel Day-Lewis)


Los Angeles Film Critics
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 1989
The 15th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards were announced on 16 December 1989 and given on 16 January 1990.-Winners:*Best Picture:**Do the Right Thing**Runner-up: Drugstore Cowboy*Best Director:...

:
    • Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis)
    • Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Fricker)


National Film Critics
National Society of Film Critics Awards 1989
The 24th National Society of Film Critics Awards, given on 8 January 1990, honored the best filmmaking of 1989.-Best Picture::1. Drugstore Cowboy2. Enemies, a Love Story3. Casualties of War-Best Director::...

:
    • Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis)


New York Film Critics
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1989
The 55th New York Film Critics Circle Awards honored the best filmmaking of 1989. The winners were announced on 18 December 1989 and the awards were given on 14 January 1990.-Winners:*Best Actor:**Daniel Day-Lewis - My Left Foot...

:
    • Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis)
    • Best Film


Writers Guild of America (WGA)
Writers Guild of America Awards 1989
The 1989 Writers Guild of America Awards were given on 18 March 1990. They were co-presented by the Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, west-Best Adapted Screenplay: Driving Miss Daisy - Alfred Uhry...

:
    • Best Screenplay - Adapted (Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan)


Young Artist Awards:
    • Best Motion Picture - Drama
    • Best Young Supporting Actor - Motion Picture (Hugh O'Conor
      Hugh O'Conor
      Hugh O'Conor is an Irish actor. His first film appearance was opposite Liam Neeson in the 1985 movie Lamb. Currently, he has two upcoming projects: Finding Fate and Operation H²O.-Biography:...

      )

Cultural references

  • In the film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
    The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
    The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a 1994 Australian comedy-drama film written and directed by Stephan Elliott. The plot is based on the journey of three drag queens who travel across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs in a tour bus that they have named...

    , Terence Stamp
    Terence Stamp
    Terence Henry Stamp is an English actor. Since starting his career in 1962 he has appeared in over 60 films. His title role as Billy Budd in his film debut earned Stamp an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA nomination for Best Newcomer.His other major roles include...

    , playing a transexual, refers to the main character of the film when asked who painted some murals with the response: "Someone with no arms or right foot from the look of things."
  • On the television sketch show In Living Color
    In Living Color
    In Living Color is an American sketch comedy television series, which originally ran on the Fox Network from April 15, 1990 to May 19, 1994. Brothers Keenen and Damon Wayans created, wrote, and starred in the program. The show was produced by Ivory Way Productions in association with 20th Century...

    , Jim Carrey
    Jim Carrey
    James Eugene "Jim" Carrey is a Canadian-American actor and comedian. He has received two Golden Globe Awards and has also been nominated on four occasions. Carrey began comedy in 1979, performing at Yuk Yuk's in Toronto, Ontario...

     played a Kickboxing expert who could only move his left foot. The sketch was known as My Left Foot of Fury.
  • An episode of The Critic
    The Critic
    The Critic is an American prime time animated series revolving around the life of film critic Jay Sherman, voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. It was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, both of whom had worked as writers on The Simpsons. The Critic had 23 episodes produced, first broadcast on ABC in 1994,...

    has Jay Sherman wearing a My Left Foot sock, a promotion item given to him when viewing the film. In another episode dealing with classic films being updated with "happy endings", Jay states that he "doesn't want the guy from My Left Foot becoming a punter for the Bears
    Chicago Bears
    The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

    ".
  • In the animated T.V. series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
    The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack
    The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack is an American animated television series produced for Cartoon Network that premiered on June 5, 2008 and ended on August 31, 2010...

    , a movie poster promoting a film called "My Left Tentacle" in front of a theater, a reference to the film; is seen as Flapjack leads Captain K'nuckles around the docks during the episode "Lead em' and Weep"
  • In the 1999 film, Flawless, Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro
    Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

    ) suffers a stroke and is partially disabled. When a drag queen
    Drag queen
    A drag queen is a man who dresses, and usually acts, like a caricature woman often for the purpose of entertaining. There are many kinds of drag artists and they vary greatly, from professionals who have starred in films to people who just try it once. Drag queens also vary by class and culture and...

     meets him for the first time, he remarks, "You've got a kind of My Left Foot thing going on, huh?" For the rest of the movie, he refers to him as 'Mr. My Left Foot.'
  • In an episode of Gilmore Girls
    Gilmore Girls
    Gilmore Girls is an American family comedy-drama series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. On October 5, 2000, the series debuted on The WB and was cancelled in its seventh season, ending on May 15, 2007 on The CW...

    Lorelai
    Lorelai Gilmore
    Lorelai Victoria Gilmore is a fictional character in the WB/CW television series Gilmore Girls, portrayed by Lauren Graham. She is the main protagonist for the length of the series's seven year run from October, 2000, until May, 2007....

     tells Luke that she was just doing a rendition of Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in My Left Foot and how she did it with her right foot to give a very different effect.
  • The pilot episode of Extras includes a reference to My Left Foot when Kate Winslet expresses that playing a "mental" guarantees an Oscar.
  • In an episode of Family Guy
    Family Guy
    Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

    , "Jungle Love
    Jungle Love (Family Guy)
    "Jungle Love" is the thirteenth episode of the fourth season of Family Guy. Chris runs away from his home after getting hazed on his first day of school and joins the Peace Corps, after which he is dropped off in South America...

    " Stewie Griffin
    Stewie Griffin
    Stewie Griffin is a fictional character from the animated television series Family Guy. Once obsessed with world domination and matricide, Stewie is the youngest child of Peter and Lois Griffin, and the brother of Chris and Meg....

     performs a rendition of "My Left Foot", in which he sings and pulls himself across a stage whilst in a wheelchair only using his left foot.
  • In episode 105 of Chappelle's Show
    Chappelle's Show
    Chappelle's Show is an American sketch comedy television series created by comedian Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan, with Chappelle hosting the show as well as starring in various skits. Chappelle, Brennan and Michele Armour were the show's executive producers. The series premiered on January 22,...

    , a skit parodying Inside the Actors Studio
    Inside the Actors Studio
    Inside the Actors Studio is a series on the Bravo cable television channel, hosted by James Lipton. It is produced and directed by Jeff Wurtz; the executive producer is James Lipton. The program, which premiered in 1994, is distributed internationally by CABLEready and is broadcast in 125 countries...

    has Dave Chappelle
    Dave Chappelle
    David Khari Webber "Dave" Chappelle is an American comedian, screenwriter, television/film producer, actor, and artist. Chappelle began his film career in the film Robin Hood: Men in Tights in 1993 and continued to star in minor roles in the films The Nutty Professor, Con Air, and Blue Streak. His...

     portraying a crippled African American man in the fictitious film "Little Foot, Long Foot". Daniel Day-Lewis
    Daniel Day-Lewis
    Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. His portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot and Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood won Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, and Screen Actors Guild as well as Golden Globe Awards for the latter...

    is referenced during this skit, acknowledging that it is a parody of "My Left Foot".

External links

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