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James Bulger's mother 'angry and upset' after film about her son's murder receives Oscar nomination

“I just hope the film doesn’t win its category in the Oscars,” Denise Fergus said on Twitter today.

Two-year-old James Bulger.
Two-year-old James Bulger.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

THE MOTHER OF James Bulger has said that she is “disgusted and upset” after a film about her son’s murder has been nominated for an Oscar.

James Bulger was just two years old when he was abducted from a shopping centre in Liverpool by 10-year-old Jon Venables and his friend Robert Thompson, who tortured and murdered the boy on a railway line in 1993. 

The film Detainment shows police interviews with two 10-year-old boys who are under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler, and is based on interview transcripts and records in the Bulger investigation.

It’s directed by Irishman Vincent Lambe, and stars Ely Solan from Galway as ‘Jon’, and Leon Hughes from Wicklow, who plays ‘Robert’.

Today, it was announced that the film was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film.

Jamie’s mother, Denise Fergus, said that she was “angry and upset” that the film received an Oscar nomination; the filmmakers had not contacted or received permission from the family to make the film, she said.

“I cannot express how disgusted and upset I am at this so-called film that has been made and now nominated for an Oscar.

It’s one thing making a film like this without contacting or getting permission from James’s family, but another to have a child re-enact the final hours of James’s life before he was brutally murdered and making myself and my family have to relive this all over again!

“After everything I’ve said about this so-called film and asking for it to be removed, it’s still been nominated for an Oscar even though over 90,000 people have signed a petition which has now been ignored just like my feelings by the Academy.

“I’m so angry and upset at this present time.”

“I personally want to thank everyone that has signed the petition up to now and hopefully will carry on supporting me in this.

I just hope the film doesn’t win its category in the Oscars.

The President of Ireland congratulated the Irish Oscar nominees today.

“All those who appreciate Irish creativity will welcome the shortlist for the 2019 Oscars, which includes many Irish nominees. I send my congratulations to Robbie Ryan and to the teams behind The Favourite, Late Afternoon and Detainment, who all fully deserve this recognition.”

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