|Directed by||Stephen Frears|
|Produced by||Colin McKeown
|Written by||Jimmy McGovern|
|Music by||John Murphy|
|Edited by||Kristina Hetherington|
|Running time||91 minutes|
Liam is a 2000 British-German film directed by Stephen Frears and written by novelist/screenwriter Jimmy McGovern. McGovern (perhaps best known as the creator of British TV crime drama Cracker) adapted Joseph Mckeown's novel Back Crack Boy into this emotionally raw meditation on innocence and pain. Frears in turn was influenced by James Joyce's accounts of his stern childhood in late 19th century Catholic Dublin.
Set in Liverpool in the Depression of the 1930s, the story is told through the eyes of Liam (Anthony Borrows). Liam is taking religious instruction lessons in preparation for his First Communion—his mother (Claire Hackett) is a staunch Roman Catholic. His father (Ian Hart) loses his job when the shipyard he works for closes. Meanwhile his sister Teresa (Megan Burns) has taken a job as maid for the wealthy Jewish family who own the shipyard.
Liam stutters badly under stress, and his strict religious education does not help. The Jewish lady of the house that Teresa works for is having an affair, and the girl becomes an accomplice. Liam's father joins a group of fascists, who rail against rich Jews and cheap Irish labour. His brother secretly attends meetings with socialists. But all this is just a microcosm of a more general breakdown.
Life becomes increasingly more insecure and people retreat ever more desperately into their own belief systems. This only leads to increasing conflict, leading inexorably to a single violent act.
- "Liam (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- Liam at the Internet Movie Database
- Salon.com Review: Charles Taylor.
- The Guardian Review: Peter Bradshaw.
- The Chicago Sun-Times Review: Roger Ebert.