Millions is a 2004 British film, directed by Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle, and starring Alexander Etel, Lewis McGibbon, and James Nesbitt. The screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce adapted his novel while the film was in the process of being made. The novel Millions was subsequently awarded the Carnegie Medal.Millions tells the story of 7-year-old Damian, whose family moves to the suburbs of Widnes after the death of his mother. Soon after the move, Damian's "hermitage" is obliterated 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, the selfish one, wants the money only for himself and his entertainment.Damian, the kind-hearted and religious of the two, 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 rather than any other object of worship such as Money/Mammon or Power. The lecture inspires Damian, who is particularly enamoured with the missionaries because of the name of their church; Damian is obsessed with saints, studying their biographies and even seeing them in his day-to-day activities as visions. He immediately begins looking for ways to give his share of the money to the poor; at one point he even stuffs a bundle of cash through the missionaries' letter box, having heard about their modest lifestyle and deciding that they too must be poor.Throughout the story, Damian commits small acts of kindness like buying birds from pet stores and setting them free and taking beggars to Pizza Hut, while Anthony bribes other kids at school into being his transportation and bodyguards, and looks into investing the money in real estate.The story takes place within a few weeks of The Bank of England's (fictional) change from the pound (£) to the euro (€). An assembly is held at Damian's school to inform the children about the change, as well as to educate the children about helping the poor. Realizing that the money, which is in pounds, will be no good after a few days, Damian decides that the best thing to do would be to give it all to the poor before the conversion. Upon deciding this, he drops £3,000 into the donation can at the assembly, for which he gets into trouble. When Damian goes into the principal's office, Anthony lies, stating that he and Damian stole the money from the Mormons (to protect Damian). Damian and Anthony were grounded that night.After the donation, Anthony's friend informs them that a train carrying bills which were to be destroyed after the conversion had been robbed, and that the money had been dispersed by throwing it off of the train at various locations throughout the country to be collected by the robbers. The boys logically conclude that their money was stolen, and Damian, who thought the money was from God, feels terrible.Around this time, a mysterious man comes snooping around the train tracks and asks Damian if he has any money. Damian thinks that the man is a beggar and tells him he has 'loads of money'. However, Anthony finds out and comes back to give the man a jar full of coins to cover Damian's tracks.The robber eventually finds out where Damian lives and ransacks his house to find the money. Damian had informed his father about the money just before they came home to their destroyed house. Damian's father, who had resolved to give the money back, decided that if the robbers were going to steal his family's Christmas, then he would steal the robbers' money. The family, as well as the father's new girlfriend, go on a massive shopping spree on Christmas Eve.That night, after they are asleep, their house is bombarded by beggars and charities begging for contributions, and seeing the confusion that results, Damian runs off to the train tracks to burn the money, deciding that it was doing more harm than good. While he is burning the money, he is visited by his dead mother, who tells him not to worry about her. This is not out of the ordinary in the scope of the story; Damian is visited by numerous dead saints throughout the story, a phenomenon never explained as either hallucinatory or genuine and used instead as a light-hearted device used to show Damian's purity. Damian's mother also tells him that he was her miracle, which is significant because in Catholicism, performing a miracle is a requirement for becoming a saint.In the final scene Damian's dream of the family flying a rocket ship to Africa and helping develop water wells is seen, which earlier in the movie is shown to be the most crucial and cheapest way to drastically improve the quality of life for many African communities.
Year of Production: 2004
Length: 99 min.
Country: United Kingdom
- Danny Boyle
- Graham Broadbent, Andrew Hauptman, Damian Jones
- Alexander Nathan Etel, Lewis McGibbon