is a 2004 film by Danny Boyle
. Danny Boyle was, up until that point, known for Trainspotting
, 28 Days Later
, and to a lesser extent, Shallow Grave
So it's something of an understatement to say that Millions
was a noticeable diversion
in his career, as it's (ostensibly) a Kid's movie with strong Religious themes. The story concerns a young boy, Damian, who recently lost his mother. He daydreams about the Saints in a cardboard castle. When a train robbery results in a falling bag of cash landing near him, he and his older brother, Anthony, have to decide what to do with it. Anthony wants to spend it on luxuries for himself. Damian wants to use it to help the poor. As the plot moves forward, Anthony and Damian's widowed father and the train robber looking for his missing loot get involved.
The film, despite a young cast and a bright aesthetic, deals with some fairly heavy issues; greed, religion, grief, altruism, morality and the cynicism of adulthood.
Millions shows examples of the following tropes:
- An Aesop: A pretty specific one, too. The charity featured in the film is a real one that the film actively promoted by donating money to rather than giving the crew t-shirts and the like.
- Children Are Innocent: Explored.
- Truth in Television, in the case of the production: On the DVD Commentary, Boyle recalls having difficulty with the young leads because they hadn't experienced anything as devastating as the loss of a parent to draw on for their performances.
- Christianity Is Catholic: An unusual example, as Damian is the only explicitly religious character, but doesn't go to church. His interest in the saints, however, suggests that he's probably had a Catholic upbringing.
- And averted with the Mormons.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: From the offset, it seems that the saints are little more than projections of Damien's imagination. Then they start doing things that suggest they may actually be genuine saints after all.