Drama featured

TIFF Review: ‘Float Like a Butterfly’

September 16, 2018Britany Murphy

After the sudden death of her mother, Frances (Hazel Doupe) has to figure out her place in the world. Born to a family of Irish travellers, Frances has a love of boxing but when her father (Dara Devaney) returns home after a stint in prison, he doesn't encourage her in her passions.

For 15-year-old Frances, her dream is to become the world's greatest, just like her inspiration, Muhammad Ali. However, living in a town that looks down upon her and her family, Frances' urge to fight is more of a necessity than anything else. With a fighting spirit, she has to find a way to fulfill her dream and see Ali fight in the ring when he comes to Dublin. Her father finds her dream ridiculous and believes a girl of her age should be married and stop living for this unattainable goal of becoming a boxer. Yet, despite her father's wishes, Frances has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.

Directed by Carmel Winters, the film expertly showcases the overlap between one's family life and one's aspirations, noting that the two do not always intersect. At times, family is a difficult thing to navigate, and despite the best interests of the individuals involved, some struggle with attaining approval and support. In Float Like A Butterfly, Doupe manages to capture the essence of Frances' determination, strength and resilience, making for an interesting and well told coming-of-age story from a perspective that is not often seen.

Float Like a Butterfly makes its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 41 min.

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