AARP Eye Center
Run time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Evanna Lynch, Michael Smiley, George Webster
Director: Simon Fitzmaurice
Innocence gets punched in the face by reality in the road-trip movie My Name Is Emily. But the damage is minimal — a bloody nose, a touch of newfound wisdom — and a teenage girl's stubborn hopefulness triumphs in the end.
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The theme of human endurance would seem to arise naturally from Irish writer-director Simon Fitzmaurice, who created this endlessly charming film despite being paralyzed by motor-neuron disease. Unable to move his limbs or speak, Fitzmaurice directed the movie from a wheelchair, communicating with his cast and crew by using eye movements to activate a computer voice.
Given the circumstances, even a bad film by Fitzmaurice would be a staggering achievement. Miraculously, his smart script and nuanced direction entitle My Name Is Emily to take its rightful place beside such classic coming-of-age films as Sixteen Candles and Stand By Me.