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Life with Billy (1994)

Director: Paul Donovan

Writers: John Frizzell; Judith Thompson

From juvenile novel: Life with Billy by Brian Vallee

Keywords: Drama

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Stephen McHattie
3-Feb-1947   Cold Squad


Review by Anonymous (posted on 18-Sep-2007)

I have watched this movie numerous times and have read the novel that it is based on. Usually the movie is not as compelling as the words on the pages of the book but this movie was so realistic and brings you right into the scenes , so much so, that I winced and jumped up everytime Billy struck one of his family members or interacted in a violent manner towards his family or one of their neighbours. I actually felt an anger rise up in me during the scene where he beat his child when the boy was very young. The beating took place out of camera but the screams made you want to be able to run in to stop it. The scene brought about such an emotional reaction that when my mind wanders back to that scene it brings about a feeling of extreme uneasiness. Perhaps it sparked a memory or two since I read so many case files when I studied Criminology and wrote an essay about this subject while studying at a Canadian university, I relate also because I was struck often as a child by a family member and remember that fear. I am grateful that I did not have to endure the violence that went on in their household. Stephen McHattie's performance was excellent, in that, it was so very realistic and believable. The actress who played his wife was also as believable in her role as the battered spouse. The time that she served was within reason considering the 'prison' she entered into the day she married Billy. Awesome performances . One needs to watch it more than once to appreciate the effort of the director to make us aware of the damaging effects of domestic violence and child abuse. Extremely impressive and well acted. CLJ

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