My dear friend Linda Wallace and I were having a fun “what if?” conversation last weekend that ventured into what we would do with the money if suddenly we were given an extraordinary amount – millions! Now, since neither of us play the lottery or work in occupations that we would be likely to see these kinds of funds, ever, it got us laughing (of course along with the delight of planning how the funds would be used – and we had some great ideas!).
What would you do if you suddenly had untold riches?
The film Millions directed by Danny Boyle (2004 – known for a variety of films including Slumdog Millionaire and for the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics) tells the story of two boys, Damian (age seven) and his older brother Anthony (about twelve), and what they do when a large gift of cash literally seems to fall from the sky. The book from which the story is taken received the Carnegie Medal for best children’s book in the U.K. in 2004 for author Frank Cottrell Boyce. The film was nominated for a variety of prizes and Roger Ebert listed it in his top ten films for 2005.
The boys have moved to a new housing development with their father after the death of their mother. Little Damian spends his time reading books on the Catholic saints and is fascinated with their stories. This fascination adds to a rich imaginary life and the film highlights visits from saints throughout. He builds a playhouse of boxes left over from the move near the railroad track and one day a large bag of money is tossed from the train by robbers and lands on his little house. Believing this to be a gift from God, Damian and his brother drag the bag of money home and hide it under the bed.
What will they do with the money? What would you do?
In the brothers, the film highlights several very different understandings of money – in keeping it, spending it, and giving it away. As Anthony spends the money, Damian seeks out anyone who might be poor and need the money and finds many creative ways in giving the money away. But the robber comes back …which sets a variety of surprises in motion.
The film is available in the Marshburn Library. It is rated PG-13 for a brief scene of the boys viewing women in bras on a computer and of an advertisement that has sexual innuendo. These are quite brief. The scenes with the robber would be likely frightening to young viewers so while this is from a children’s story and as delightful as this film is, it might be best to be watched by older viewers (at least first). The film is 98 minutes in length.