James Bulger was beaten to death by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson on a railway line in Liverpool, England, in February 1993. Picture: AP/PA

London - The mother of James Bulger hit out on Tuesday after a film about the toddler’s murder was nominated for an Oscar.

Denise Fergus, 51, had campaigned to have Detainment, which uses child actors to play ten-year-old killers Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, removed from the best live action short film category.

Denise Fergus, right, with her husband Stuart. File picture: AFP

She said she was ‘angry and upset’ that her concerns had been ignored. ‘It’s one thing making a film like this without contacting 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,’ she said. She has accused director Vincent Lambe of exploiting her grief. He has apologised for not consulting the family.

Using police transcripts, Detainment shows Thompson and Venables crying and asking for their parents as detectives quiz them over James’s abduction from outside a shop in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1993.

James’ father, Ralph Bulger, 51, said Hollywood should ‘hang its head in shame’ for nominating the ‘sympathetic portrayal’ of the killers.

Daily Mail