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Millions (2005)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce Rating:8.5/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by iwantmytvm on June 24th, 2020:Find all reviews by iwantmytvm
Boyle and Boyce serve up a thoughtful and informative track for one of the lesser known films in the Boyle canon.

In production, they faced the uncertainty of whether or not the UK would switch to the Euro currency. Boyce remarks that it feels like science fiction now.

There are rigid laws dealing with finance and finanical institutions that are a hurdle for filmmakers to overcome. It is unlawful to print counterfeit money but also to burn real money, as well as to film in actual banks. Boyce shares that he was stopped at the airport with a large amount of the money they printed for the film and had to explain it to airport security.

They speak frequently about the nuances of working with children. Labor laws only allow minimal hours per day, forcing them to use doubles or shoot day for night. Boyle adds that it was a gamble to hedge the success of the film on the performances of the young actors but he was pleased that they pulled it off. Some of the more challenging scenes for young Alex Etel dealt with fear and grief, which he did not truly understand never having experienced them.

Even though the film is set near the end of the year holidays, Boyle filmed in the summer because he wanted the film to have the look of a summer day. Many have told him that he made Manchester look like Umbria. The unique look of the heist scene was due to it being shot on reverse film.

The filming near and on train tracks was enough to give them a 12a rating in the UK, which is similar to a PG-13 in the US. Boyle was dismayed at this rating being issued to a family film.

They share observations about consumerism in children, how it now starts at a much earlier age than 20 years ago, and the lost innocence and cynicism that is evident in the older brother, who is only 10. They admit that Six O Clock Saints is not a book fit for children, but it is a favorite book of Martin Scorsese. The CGI halos given to the saints were based on the rings of Saturn.

Boyce has a small role in the film as a teacher. Boyle suggested that he write a book based on the screenplay, and he did. Boyle liked an addition from the book so much that he asked that Boyce insert it into the screenplay as well. Boyle saw many similarities to his earlier film, Shallow Grave, in this script. While obtaining financing, he described Millions as a cross between Amelie and Trainspotting.

There is a romantic fascination with trains that exists in the UK which is not as prevalent in the US, due to automobiles.

There are 31 minutes of deleted scenes on the disc. Boyle explains where some may have fallen but were mostly cut for time.

They point out that all British films must have tea and toilet scenes.

They have read that cats and bees can see the infrared emanated from mobile phones.

Water Aid helped them with a key scene, and as thanks, a percentage of the profits was to be donated to the Water Aid organization.