My Left Foot


This movie is tragic. Daniel Day Lewis (DDL) is an Irish cripple who draws pictures with one of his feet.  As his body fails him, his foot is the only faculty he’s able to maintain mastery over. Via the indomitable will of the unbroken human spirit, he begins creating artwork. His art becomes his self expression–his only cathartic medium. This movie explores what it means to be human and proves to us there is no such thing as a simple character. This film stuck with me. I remember the anguish and the frustration. I remember the inescapable hopelessness of an impoverished family and the story of their son, broken and betrayed by an unyielding fate. I remember the cruel incongruity of body and mind.


In time, Day-Lewis is accused of masterminding an IRA terrorist attack on a Belfast pub. Needing a patsy, British intelligence forces pin the attack on DDL and coerce a full confession. Sentenced and sent to British prison, he is housed with actual IRA masterminds. It is then that he learns the nature of the IRA separatist movement is ugly, chaotic, and reactionary. Ultimately DDL’s dad is arrested and jailed as well. His dad dies, and eventually DDL captivates a nation in his quest for freedom. He is cleared of the false charges, roll credits.

For all its twists and turns, this movie is simply riveting. It is humanity at its most compelling. The only downside is a run-time approaching 6 hours.

3 thoughts on “My Left Foot

  1. This sounds like an extremely interesting movie. How did you first hear about the film? Also, I’m very curious as to how the film switches (or at least seems to switch) so quickly from a man painting with his foot to a man accused of being the mastermind behind a terrorist attack. Could you explain this transition a little more?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again I am amazed with Daniel Day-Lewis and his ability to play such unique roles. I’m interested in the first movie you mention, “My Left Foot”; have you come across any other movies or books that deal with this same body versus mind relation, where the two are at odds with one another? If so, I’d be interested to hear them! Your description of the movie also reminds me of the last few pages of Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch,” where (mild-spoiler alert) the novel ends on this huge epiphanic message that ‘art can save us,’ which is a theme I’m always a sucker for, what about you?

    Liked by 1 person

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