Starring: Evanna Lynch, Michael Smiley and George Webster
Directed by: Simon Fitzmaurice
Rated: Not Rated
Running time: 1 hr 40 mins
Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars
“They name hurricanes after me.”
So we are told as we are introduced to Emily, who narrates the film bearing her name. We learn that her father spent a year after her birth reading multitudes of books, trying to understand the meaning of having a daughter. Finally he decided that the greatest teacher about his daughter IS his daughter and they form an unbreakable bond. When Emily (Lynch, who you may recognize from the Harry Potter films – she played Luna Lovegood) comes home upset from school – the kids call her “weirdo” for reading books – her father (Smiley) shows her in the dictionary that the term is not a bad one. Dad finds success as an author but, when he and his wife are involved in an automobile accident, killing her, he begins to withdraw into himself, finally being committed to a mental institution. This puts Emily into a foster home, where she is the new kid at school once again. But soon, like the hurricane, she is once again and on the move.
A sweetly written story about love and the bonds it forms, “My Name is Emily” succeeds in part thanks to a fine cast of young actors. While at school Emily catches the eye of classmate Arden (Webster) and, while their interaction is at first minimal, it’s easy to see that Arden is smitten. After a bad day at school, where Emily announces that it’s her birthday, Arden brings her a gift and tries to be a comforting shoulder. But Emily is too strong. Or so it seems. Soon she has convinced Arden to accompany her to the north of England to search for her father. Both Lynch, with her wide, blue eyes and Webster give strong performances in what could have easily been stereotypical teenage roles. Credit this to director Fitzmaurice, who also wrote the film, whose pacing keeps the film moving smoothly.
Technically the film is strongly helped by the beautiful Irish countryside that surrounds the two on their long road trip. The musical score by Stephen McKeon helps move the story along as well. “My Name is Emily” is playing in select theatres and is also available through Video on Demand.