Evelyn (film)

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Evelyn film poster.jpg
United States theatrical release poster
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Produced by Pierce Brosnan
Michael Ohoven
Beau St. Clair
Written by Paul Pender
Starring Sophie Vavasseur
Pierce Brosnan
Stephen Rea
Alan Bates
Julianna Margulies
Aidan Quinn
Music by Stephen Endelman
Cinematography André Fleuren
Edited by Humphrey Dixon
Distributed by Pathé Distribution
United Artists
Release dates
  • September 9, 2002 (2002-09-09) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • December 13, 2002 (2002-12-13) (U.S. limited)
  • March 21, 2003 (2003-03-21) (UK)
Running time
93 minutes
Country Ireland
Language English

Evelyn is a 2002 drama film, loosely based on the true story of Desmond Doyle and his fight in the Irish courts (December, 1955) to be reunited with his children. The film stars Sophie Vavasseur in the title role, Pierce Brosnan as her father and Aidan Quinn, Julianna Margulies, Stephen Rea and Alan Bates as supporters to Doyle's case. The film had a limited release in the United States, starting on December 13, 2002 and was later followed by the United Kingdom release on March 21, 2003.

The film was produced by, with others, Brosnan's own production company, Irish DreamTime. It opened to positive reviews.


Nine-year-old Evelyn Doyle's (Sophie Vavasseur) mother has abandoned the family, leaving her out-of-work father Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) to bring up Evelyn and her two brothers, Maurice (Hugh MacDonagh) and Dermot (Niall Beagan) on his own. Matters are only made worse when Desmond's mother-in-law (Claire Mullan) reports the abandonment of the children to the authorities. Irish law prohibits children from being brought up in a "broken home", and therefore places these children in Church-run orphanages. Desmond also drinks excessively.

Vowing to reunite his family, Desmond enlists the help of his friends: barmaid Bernadette Beattie (Julianna Margulies), her solicitor brother Michael (Stephen Rea), their American lawyer friend Nick Barron (Aidan Quinn) and his old mentor, Thomas Connolly (Alan Bates). Together, the group attempts to do what has never been done before - challenge a law before the Irish Supreme Court by overturning some provisions of the Irish Children Act, 1941.

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