I do enjoy finding ‘gems’ when it comes to movies and today I discovered another one. That film is ‘Give Them Wings’, directed by Sean Cronin, and based on the autobiography by Paul Hodgson. ‘Give Them Wings’ takes us into the life of Paul Hodgson (played by Daniel Watson) who, after a bout of meningitis as a child is left wheelchair-bound. Whilst the film primarily is set in 1989 we do venture into a flashback which explains how Pauls life turned out the way it did. Whilst the film does have Paul at the centre, what makes the film even better in my opinion is the wonderful ensemble cast that has come together to help tell this story and the team behind the film have done a fantastic job in that regard.
Toyah Willcox plays Alice, Pauls Mum and shes fantastic in the role and her range in scenes it top notch. I cant go into too much detail on that as it would take away from the experience of watching the film without knowing anything about the plot points (I had only seen the poster art and cast list prior to watch the film- which is the way I like to see films if I can) The film also features Bill Fellows (TVs Coronation St, Wolfblood) as Norman, Pauls Dad, Rachel Warren (Rise of the Footsoldier: Origins, Dragon Kingdom) as Karen, Pauls self centered sister, and Jacob Anderton (13 Graves, I Am Vengeance: Retaliation ) who plays Ian, Pauls best friend who is always there for him either to help him or keep him on the level by firing some wicked one liners at him (and Paul gives some cracking replies too- they are a great double act) those are just a few of the cast in the film.
Im not going to go into a full cast list of the talent in this film, You can get all those details here on their IMDB Page. (worth noting that the films director Sean Cronin also has a small role in the film and its a very memorable one, as it would always have been with Sean playing the role)
What I will go into is just how much I recommend ‘Give Them Wings’ from its beautiful cinematography, its great musical score (and use of Queen songs), its depiction of people living in tough times, to its core storyline, that of Paul Hodgson not letting life beat him down even though it dealt him some hard hands many years previous. The story is handled with pure care and yet doesn’t shy away from realism and you’ll find yourself feeling very sad one moment, but spurting out a laugh or three the next, only to find yourself sad a few moments later. Its wonderful when a film can its ingredients perfectly and ‘Give Them Wings’ does that 100%, and if you get to the point where the title is explained and it doesn’t fill you with hope that make you think about how you treat some people, then ….well lets just say the title explanation (if you didn’t already know it- I didn’t) is a bullseye moment in the film. One of many.
I knew Sean Cronin from his acting work and his appearances in such films as Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Kill Kane, The Seasoning House, and so many more. What I hadn’t realised was that whilst Sean is a great onscreen presence that he is also one hell of a film director too. Definitely someone for me to keep a watch out for his future projects. So if you want a really touching, lovely, character drama based a true story by a wonderful guy! Then do check out ‘Give Them Wings’ which you can rent or buy on Amazon Video HERE
You can also get the ‘Give Them Wings’ book by Paul Hodgson HERE on Kindle or paperback.