Fireflies in the Garden

July 17th, 2008


Fireflies in the Garden

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Still of Julia Roberts, Willem Dafoe and Cayden Boyd in Fireflies in the GardenStill of Emily Watson and George Newbern in Fireflies in the GardenCarrie-Anne Moss at event of Fireflies in the GardenStill of Julia Roberts, Willem Dafoe and Cayden Boyd in Fireflies in the GardenJulia Roberts and Dennis Lee in Fireflies in the GardenStill of Ryan Reynolds in Fireflies in the Garden

The Taylor family is devastated by an accident that takes place on the day their matriarch is due to graduate from college -- decades after leaving to raise her children.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.5/10 (5,727 voted)

Critic's Score: 34/100

Director: Dennis Lee

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Emily Watson

A family with an abusive father, a sensitive son, and a mother out of her depth: we see them when Michael is about 12 and when he's in his 30's, a writer of romance novels, going home for his mother and sister's college graduations. We go back and forth between the two periods: when Michael is a boy, the pressure builds until a break is threatened and there's a fight; during his trip home, there's an unexpected death, and renewed relationships between father and son, Michael and his aunt, and Michael and his aunt's young children. Michael's estranged wife joins them for the funeral.

Writers: Robert Frost, Dennis Lee

Ryan Reynolds - Michael Taylor
Willem Dafoe - Charles Taylor
Emily Watson - Jane Lawrence
Carrie-Anne Moss - Kelly Hanson (as Carrie Anne Moss)
Julia Roberts - Lisa Taylor
Ioan Gruffudd - Addison Wesley
Hayden Panettiere - Young Jane Lawrence
Shannon Lucio - Ryne Taylor
Cayden Boyd - Young Michael Taylor
George Newbern - Jimmy Lawrence (as George Newburn)
Chase Ellison - Christopher Lawrence
Brooklynn Proulx - Leslie Lawrence
Diane Perella - Flight Attendant
Natalie Karp - Social Worker
John C. Stennfeld - Reverend Byers (as Reverend John Stennfeld)

Taglines: For one family, a chance to start again...


Official Website: Official Facebook |

Release Date: 17 July 2008

Filming Locations: Austin, Texas, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £20,828 (UK) (31 May 2009) (27 Screens)

Gross: $70,600 (USA) (16 October 2011)

Technical Specs

Runtime: Germany: (theatrical version)  | Israel:  | Germany: (Berlin International Film Festival)  | Argentina:  | Australia: (DVD)

Did You Know?

According to director Dennis Lee, the first person who read the script was Carrie-Anne Moss.

Crew or equipment visible: When Kelly first appears walking into the house after the funeral, the boom mic is visibly above the doorway.

User Review

It Could Have Been Great

Rating: 8/10

I agree with Raj Doctor, although I would rate the film higher.

The film was released in Russia with little publicity and became lost in the summer blockbusters. Without revealing information, the acting is excellent. The story is very indeed very realistic. If you find realism boring, then this is not a film for you.

The final third of the film, however, is missing. I have read that at the Berlin Film Festival, where the film premiered, it was announced to be 2 hours long, but the version in Russia is missing 20 minutes. Because the ending felt rushed while the rest of it was very well controlled, I cannot help but believe that this time was taken out of the final act. It's a shame really, because it could have been a great film. As it is, it is still a very good film that I recommend for the patient viewer.


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