Review: 'Dear Frankie' an emotional stand-out

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By Kelly LeVan

In “Dear Frankie,” Director Shona Auerbach manages to find lots of heartfelt drama in a scenario that could have easily been written off as comedy. If you’re willing to suspend your disbelief just a little, you might even cry at the next presentation of Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs meeting room theater.

Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) left Frankie’s (Jack McElhone) father years ago when Frankie was still too young to absorb how the man treated them or even what he looked like. Now that he’s 9 years old, one might think he’d forgotten all about a father he hasn’t met or spoken to since.

However, Lizzie accidentally makes sure this doesn’t happen. She writes her son letters every month, make-believing an entire life and signing each letter from his father.

About to get caught in her lie, Lizzie takes a huge risk – at least in the eyes of her mother, played endearingly by Mary Riggans – and pays a stranger to spend a day with Frankie, pretending to be the father she created in her letters.

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