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Film / My Name Is Emily

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"A fact is a point of view."
My Name Is Emily is a 2015 independent Irish film starring Evanna Lynch, George Webster and Michael Smiley. It drew quite a bit of press from the fact that its director - Simon Fitzmaurice - was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. He wrote and directed the film via eye recognition software.

Evanna Lynch plays Emily Egan - a disturbed and depressed teenage girl. After her mother died, her father became increasingly odder until he was confined to a mental hospital. The day after she turns sixteen, Emily is worried that she hasn't received news from him in a while. So she runs away and gets a friend from school Arden (Webster) to drive her to the hospital to break her father out.

A trope is a point of view:

  • Abusive Parents: Arden's father, who hits him. It's implied he's abusive to his wife too, as she's seen looking apologetic to Arden.
  • An Aesop; Much in the same vein as Now, Voyager the film drops the lesser told Aesop that if you want people to like you then you have to like people. Emily is alienated from everyone at the start of the film partly because of her contempt for everyone around her. It's not until she learns to stop lecturing Arden on why she's smarter than him and accepts she doesn't know everything about the world that she becomes happier. By the end, she learns to accept love and kindness from someone else.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Early in her life, Robert taught Emily not to mind that the other kids call her weird. This technically goes into subversion territory (even if it's not directly stated) because this led to Emily thinking she was superior to her classmates.
  • Arc Words: "A fact is a point of view."
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Emily drags Arden into her scheme because he's the first of her peers that's been nice in a while.
  • Bedlam House: Emily imagines the hospital as this, but it isn't. It's a perfectly normal mental facility.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Arden and Emily towards the end.
  • Break the Cutie: Inverted. Emily starts the film broken but gets fixed along the way.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Emily to Robert near the end.
    "You told me nothing would separate us. But you did!"
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Subverted. Emily and Arden do get stopped by a policeman, but Emily just drives the car away before he can catch them.
  • Chekhov's Gun: An actual gun in the car. It proves quite handy for scaring away a crowd of bullies.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Emily is this Played for Drama.
  • Color Wash: It's completely blue in the flashbacks to Emily's mother's death.
  • Cool Old Lady: Arden's grandmother, who lends him and Emily clothes, and a car to find her father.
  • Daddy's Girl: Even before she passed, Emily appeared to be closer to Robert than to her mother.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: We never know much about Emily's mother - except that she was kind and beautiful. And a lecturer.
  • Driven to Suicide: Implied with Emily, as she nearly drowns in the school swimming pool at the start. It's left ambiguous as she doesn't display any other suicidal tendencies in the rest of the film. She jumps into the sea near the end, but she comes up again of her own free will.
  • Forgotten Birthday: The plot is kicked off when Emily's father does not write to her on her birthday.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Emily spends most of the film wearing a deep purple top, and elsewhere she's colour-coded with purple and blue.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It's raining when Emily's father is taken away.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Emily's mother notably has a more golden blonde shade than her daughter - which helps her come across as a kind, saintly figure.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Emily's eyes are blue and they help portray her as an Innocence Lost character. There are many close-ups of her eyes throughout the film.
  • Intimate Open Shirt: Arden's is like this when he and Emily share their first kiss.
  • I Reject Your Reality:
  • Ironic Echo: "If you've ever been electrocuted, you'll understand."
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: It seems that Emily thinks she knows it all but really doesn't - since she is only sixteen. Arden calls her out for it later in the film.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Deconstructed. Emily's anti-social tendency stems from having a dead mother and a father who's been committed to a mental institution. Oh and being a teenager. By overcoming some of her issues, her situation begins to change.
  • The Lost Lenore: Emily's mother for her father. It's said he was never quite right after she died.
  • May–December Romance: Probably a side effect of having Michael Smiley play Robert in his youth too - without much effort to make him look different - but there is a notable age difference between Emily's parents in the flashbacks. Deirdre Mullins who plays the mother was in her early thirties compared to Michael Smiley's early fifties. Possibly Emily's flashbacks are imagining her father as he currently is versus how she remembers her mother.
  • Missing Mom: Emily's died in a car accident.
  • Mood Whiplash: Emily and Arden are having a deep conversation about the nature of loss and grief. Arden mentions a family he knows that lost a child, and they use photoshop to put his picture in all their family photos. Emily abruptly bursts out laughing and says "I'm sorry, but that's the weirdest thing I've ever heard." It's notably the first time she laughs in the film.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: A proxy example. Emily's father is a writer and her opinions are just her parroting what he's told her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: There's a scene where Emily is in a swimsuit. Presumably this trope is the reason it's a bikini and not a one-piece.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Emily's are nice but insignificant and get forgotten about once she goes on the run.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Robert, it's not being a proper parent to Emily.
  • Ocean Awe: Sort of. A turning point in Arden and Emily's relationship happens near the ocean.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Emily's father has been recovered for a while.
  • One-Steve Limit: Emily's mother is credited as just that in the titles, as she was called Emily too - and having a credit for two characters called Emily Egan would be odd.
  • The Ophelia: Emily's father was a male version for a while. Appearing nude in public was what got him committed.
  • Parents as People: Part of the film is Emily realising her father is not just a teacher giving her inspirational quotes - but as a person with his own flaws and setbacks. This is outlined by his psychologist.
    "Sometimes people just break. Even if they're our parents."
  • The Philosopher: Robert appears to have taught philosophy, advocating for people to enjoy their life by having more sex and swimming, along with epistemic relativism ("a fact is a point of view"). Emily later argues for the latter while talking to Arden, which annoys him, since he disagrees but can't rebut what she says.
  • Sadist Teacher: Emily's English teacher. She's cold and rude to Emily before the girl has even said anything. When Emily gives a detailed analysis of a poem - that the teacher had just asked the class to do - the woman coldly says, "What's wrong with you?"
  • Sex Sells: Emily's narration says that Robert started to get attention when his book started telling people to have more sex.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: At one point Emily comes downstairs wearing one of her mother's dresses, and it's the first time she's seen in anything non-casual.
  • Shout-Out: A blonde whose name begins with E drives around in a vintage yellow car and has a metric ton of parental issues. Hmm...
  • Silk Hiding Steel: A male example. Arden seems like a posh Nice Guy, but proves he can stand up to a crowd of bullies attempting to attack Emily.
  • Stepford Smiler: Emily describes her foster mother as this. The woman seems to force cheer on her.
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted. Emily's father recovered from his condition via therapy, and opted to stay in the hospital himself.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Subverted. Emily's foster family seem to be well-meaning, if a little hard to take.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: Although Emily thinks she knows more than she actually does, she still is quite intuitive.