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Stars: Deirdre O'Kane, Brendan Coyle, Sarah Greene, Liam Cunningham, Ruth Negga, Gloria Cramer Curtis, David Mumeni, Eva Birthistle

Director: Stephen Bradley

An inspiring true story doesn't quite get its just deserts in this slightly chaotic biopic that hops between timelines so abruptly that you might be forgiven for thinking the projectionist was showing the reels in the wrong order.

Although the film is about how Irishwoman Christina Noble changed the lives of thousands of homeless children in Vietnam (and later Mongolia), its most interesting part is the tragedy-strewn, ragamuffin upbringing of the young Christina (first Curtis then Greene, both appealing), the oldest of six (soon motherless) children in the Dublin slums.

Raped at 16, then married to an abusive fish-and-chip owner (Mumeni), the last we see of the younger Christina is her flight to London, at which point the film switches back to Vietnam, where the older Christina (O'Kane, a dead spit for dancer Erin Boag if no great actress) battles to raise funds for the street kids of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

A tear or two is raised before the end, and you should look fast for an appearance by one-time star Margi Clarke as a guest-house proprietor.

David Quinlan

Ireland/UK/Vietnam 2013. UK Distributor: Miracle Communications. Technicolor.
102 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 07 Feb 2016