Tuesday, June 10, 2008

From the Ground Up

Author(s): Ryne
Location: Portland

"From the Ground Up"

Directed by Norman Jewison
Written by Roger Allers

Main Cast

Colin Farrell as Shamus Mallory
Sean Hayes as Daniel Dayne
Liv Tyler as Allison Hawkins
Elijah Kelly as Duke Jones
Cliff Robertson as Albert Newton
Dianne Wiest as Judy

Tagline: "Live the life you've imagined"

Synopsis: Running a small furniture business isn't always easy for Shamus Mallory (Farrell). Hand crafting each piece by hand can be a daunting task and with the new department store going in on the other side of town, business is getting worse. Customers are now waiting to buy their furniture cheap from the new store. Sensing the potential downfall of Shamus' business, right hand man Duke Jones (Kelly) considers quitting his job as Shamus' assistant and taking an assistant manager position offered to him at the new store. Duke has been friends with Shamus for some time, but he must think about his mother and siblings first. Shamus' girlfriend, Allison Hawkins (Tyler), is always there for him. Even with his long work hours, she has stuck around hoping to take the next step with him. Now that hours will be even longer, Allison has some thinking to do. Daniel Dayne (Hayes) runs the new store and expectations are so high from his boss, Albert Newton (Robertson), that any failure will result in his immediate dismissal. Albert has made this point very clear to Daniel in their one and only in-person meeting. As opening day approaches, a fight with Duke and Allison's threat to leave convince Shamus to shut down his business. A heart-breaking choice for Shamus given all the time and effort he has put into his store. During a reflective walk through downtown, a chance encounter with a homeless woman named Judy (Wiest) restores Shamus' faith in himself. Judy inspires him to never give up on his dream of marrying Allison and running a successful store. The morning of the grand opening, Shamus walks down from his apartment above his store, turns on the lights, and opens the door to an amazing sight: the streets are lined with people to show their support.

Song List:

As the Sun Rises (Colin Farrell)
The Plans are Set (Sean Hayes and ensemble)
Don't you Dare (Sean Hayes and Cliff Robertson)
Did you hear? (Colin Farrell and Elijah Kelly)
Open My Eyes to you (Colin Farrell and Liv Tyler)
A Choice of Mine (Elijah Kelly and Sean Hayes)
A Tough Decision (Colin Farrell and Elijah Kelly)
Another Moment (Colin Farrell and Liv Tyler)
A Life Full of Trouble (Colin Farrell)
Hope (Colin Farrell and Dianne Wiest)
Rush (Sean Hayes and ensemble)
From the Ground Up (Colin Farrell, Elijah Kelly, and Liv Tyler)

What the Press would say:

"From the Ground Up" is an engrossing tale of a small shop owner from Ireland, played brilliantly by Colin Farrell, and his struggle against big business. Norman Jewison is back in perfect form with his best movie since "Moonstruck". He meticulously crafts this film piece by piece into a modern musical masterpiece. The script, written by Roger Allers, is crisp, funny, and, most of all, inspiring. Making his live action debut, Allers wrote both the dialogue and most of the wonderful songs. The songs marvelously depict the difficulties of each character's journey through this miraculous tale. The songs following Shamus give the film an indie musical feel, but a show-stopping touch while with Daniel; a perfect combination. Colin Farrell commands the screen as Shamus. He completely throws himself into this role and the sweat and blood paid off. Farrell has a magnificent singing voice and impeccable comedic delivery. He portrays the struggles of running a small business perfectly. Oscar could and should be in Farrell's future. Sean Hayes is quite impressive in his role as the big business manager. The scenes prior to the grand opening, especially Hayes' solo in "Rush", are some of the best in the film. Giving a terrific performance as Shamus' assistant Duke is Elijah Kelly. Kelly has the best singing voice in the entire film. His character Duke is a fun loving man, but also very serious when he needs to be. Kelly conveys the conflicting choice Duke must make with precision. Liv Tyler shines as Shamus' girlfriend Allison. Tyler has a lovely voice and her acting only further add to the performance. It is the most convincing and real performance of the entire film. Overall, the music of "From the Ground Up" along with the tremendous ensemble makes it one of the year's best films.


Best Picture
Best Director (Norman Jewison)
Best Actor (Colin Farrell)
Best Supporting Actor (Sean Hayes)
Best Supporting Actor (Elijah Kelly)
Best Supporting Actress (Liv Tyler)
Best Original Screenplay

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