The circumstance involved in the filming of “My Name is Emily” is a story in itself. This first feature has been written and directed by Simon Fitzmaurice, a victim of ALS. He is paralyzed and used movement of his eyes and special software to type the screenplay, and also that method to direct. The result stands on its own as a sensitive, involving story.
Set in Ireland, the plot focuses on Emily, whose mother dies, and who remembers how her iconoclastic father, Robert (Michael Smiley) was taken off to a home for the treatment of the mentally ill. She protested tearfully at the time. Emily was installed in a foster home. At her new school she is treated as an outsider. Her father’s yearly birthday cards have meant a lot to her, but when she turns 16 there is no card.
The essence of the film involves Emily (Yvanna Lynch), aided by a sympathetic school friend, Arden (George Webster), setting off to find her father and free him from the institution. The journey of Emily and Arden holds interest because of what Emily and Arden experience and learn along the way.
What Emily discovers about her father upon reaching the destination is upsetting. He has already left and retreated to live elsewhere without telling Emily. Having issues of his own to resolve, her father appears oblivious to all he has meant to her and Emily must now cope with this new situation.
Fitzmaurice’s film moves along with sincerity and the cast members are convincing in what is both a story of neediness and required understanding. A Monument Releasing release. Reviewed February 17, 2017.