Updated on July 16, 2008, 1:04 AM - Written by Tim Buttner
Writing a review about the performance given by Daniel Day-Lewis in the superb 1989 movie My Left Foot is a pleasure derived from the fact that it was a brilliant performance that earned him his well deserved first Oscar. From the opening shot the dedication that Daniel Day-Lewis put into the role is instantaneously obvious because it shows his physical command of this crippled character that is only capable of using his left foot, and may I say that Lewis uses his foot superbly. From there he only continues to captivate with the contortion of his body to make us believe that he does suffer from cerebral palsy and when he finally delivers his first line we make out of the guttural sound that he's managed to convey words through it as if he really did suffer from this disease. Having come off of Eversmile, New Jersey where Lewis portrayed a dentist traveling to South America this doesn't seem like the same actor.
According to those who worked on the movie Lewis refused to come out of character while on set in between takes, and it pays off. Having gone to actual clinics to witness nurses working with cerebral palsy patients every day for six weeks, and hired a disabled painter how to teach him to paint and hold a brush, the serious actor immersed himself on such a level that when his agent visited and he refused to come out of character his agent left. When seen on screen his dedication brings tears to your eyes as he delivers again and again. He kicks a soccer ball from a laying position on the ground to get a goal, he insights and gets involved in bar fights, he types, paints, and puts a record on all with his left foot. Brilliant.
The earliest age that Daniel Day-Lewis plays Christy Brown is age 17, and Lewis did this role at 31, a far cry from 17 but he manages to convince because of his brilliant dedication and a sharp contrast from the bearded Christy at a later age with his hair and make-up team making him look the age....