Millions tells the story of 7-year-old Damian (Alex Etel), a devout Catholic school boy, whose family moves to the suburbs of Widnes after the death of his mother. Soon after the move, Damian’s hermitage in a cardboard box by the train tracks is disturbed by a bag of money flung from a passing train.
Damian immediately shows the money to his brother, Anthony, and the two begin thinking of what to do with it. Anthony wants the money all to himself. Damian, kind-hearted and religious, had recently overheard three Latter-day Saint missionaries lecture other members of the community on building foundations of rock rather than foundations of sand, an old Christian principle which dictates that self-worth should be based on the teachings of Christ.
Damian (Alexander Nathan Etel) and his older brother Anthony (Lewis Owen McGibbon) are moved by their father Ronnie (James Nesbitt) to a new housing project after the untimely death of the boys’ mother. The brothers are devoted to each other yet Anthony is the pragmatist while Damian is the dreamer, a lad who regularly has visions and poignant converations with dead saints, always asking if they know anything about St. Maureen (his recently deceased mother).
Damian believes in miracles and when suddenly a Nike bag containing a quarter of a million British pounds falls on his playhouse he believes it is from God and that it is his responsibility to distribute the money to the poor. When he shares the secret with Anthony, the latter’s psyche begins to organize ways to spend and invest the money – because the British sterling will soon convert to the Euro making the bag’s stash useless.
The journey of how the two brothers cope with their instant fortune and how they cope with their family minus one forms the line of the film. There are good guys, bad guys, various saints, hilarious encounters with mundane ethically bifurcated folks like a Mormon team – all of whom make the visual and emotional aspects of this film thoroughly entertaining. The actors, especially young Atel, are superb and Boyle’s use of the magical ignites the story into an unforgettable fable and tale of humanity.
Director: Danny Boyle
Year of Release: 2005
Character to watch: Alex Etel as Damian.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?