Arbor and Swifty are two young boys struggling to find purpose and identity in their impoverished Yorkshire town. They are the best of friends, but while they bond over their own home and school problems, it turns out that they don't necessarily bring out the best in each other. When Arbor is expelled from school for starting a fight while trying to defend Swifty against bullies, he finds himself with nothing to do and no purpose. He takes Swifty out of school in a bid to start making money and they meet an unprincipled scrapdealer named Kitten, who puts them to work uncovering scrap metal and cables to sell on for profit. However, friendships are tested when Arbor finds himself getting increasingly more left out of the business, while his parents are at odds with what to do about their son's latest antics.
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Inventive British filmmaker Barnard takes on Oscar Wilde's children's story with the same artistic creativity that made her previous film, the edgy drama-doc The Arbor, such a triumph. But this isn't a movie for kids; it's about them. And it's such a provocative combination of gritty reality and youthful energy that it's sometimes difficult to watch. Especially as the shattering finale approaches.
Set on the grubby edges of Bradford, the story centres on fast-talking young teen Arbor (Chapman), who always seems to be in trouble. When he drags his nice-guy pal Swifty (Thomas) into another crazy scam, they get thrown out of school. But Arbor sees this as an opportunity to use their free time to collect metal to sell to scrapyard owner Kitten (Gilder). For Arbor, his main goal is to get out of his messy house, where he lives with his mum (Manley) and bullying big brother (Tittensor). Swifty's home-life with his shouty parents (Evets and Finneran) isn't much better, and he loves spending time working with with Kitten's prized horse. On the other hand, Arbor keeps coming up with risky ideas to earn more cash.
Barnard is an expert at finding beauty in the ugliest people and places, and this film sometimes feels like it's wallowing in working-class shabbiness. But she gives her uneducated characters a sense of intelligence, artistry and integrity that makes us want to spend time with them even though no one speaks in a reasonable tone of voice. Anger boils over quickly, with screaming rants and violent outbursts, so it feels like life for these people is very difficult, not just economically but also emotionally.
Continue reading: The Selfish Giant Review
There's a terrific blast of nostalgia in this finely crafted film, which will probably make it a hit for Stone Roses fans, but it's so jaggedly edited that the plot is almost impenetrable. Without a real sense of who the characters are, it's very difficult to get involved in their adventure.
It's 1990, and a group of teens are overexcited about the upcoming Stone Roses concert on Spike Island in Widnes. Gary (Tittensor), known as "Tits", is the ostensible leader of the garage band Shadowcaster, along with his best pal Dodge (Mirallegro) and their friends Zippy, Gaz and Penfold (Murphy, Long and Heald). The problem is that they don't have tickets for the event, and Gary plans to meet there with his long-time crush Sally (Clarke). Meanwhile, he's distracted by the fact that his father (Evets) is ill and his mother is annoyed that he's spending all his time with his friends instead of being with her at the hospital.
Along with the various strands of Gary's story, there are also sideplots for several other characters, which diffuses the film away from the central narrative about five guys trying to get into a landmark concert staged by their idols. The film leaps around between all of these storylines without properly settling down, which means none of the relationships ever come to life. For example, we can see that Gary and Dodge have years of camaraderie, although we don't really understand why they're still friends now.
Continue reading: Spike Island Review
When the farmer Earnshaw (Hilton) brings a street urchin (Howson) home after a trip to Liverpool, he adopts him as a son and has him christened Heathcliff. He bonds quickly with Earnshaw's daughter Catherine (Beer), but her older brother Hindley (Shaw) continually abuses him. This only gets worse after Earnshaw's death, and when Cathy decides to marry the rich neighbour Linton (Northcote), Heathcliff runs away. Years later, he returns (now Howson) to confront Cathy (now Scodelario) about her true feelings.
Continue reading: Wuthering Heights Review
The trailer for the fourth instalment from The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has arrived! Captain Jack Sparrow once again takes to the high seas in an adventure that's sure to be immensely entertaining. When a beautiful yet deadly woman from Jack's past appears once again, he's unsure of her intentions but once she forces him to join her on the ruthless Blackbeard's ship called Queen Anne's Revenge asking to find the infamous fountain of youth, he knows there's sure to be plenty of danger ahead. Not only that but the captain also finds himself in the much colder climates than he's used to when his quest takes him to London.
Pinkie Brown might be young but his reputation as a fierce and brutal criminal precedes him in many circles. When Pinkie commits a revenge killing, an innocent bystander named Rose sees Pinkie's gang take the victim away. In a ploy to learn how much Rose knows Pinkie attempts to seduce the young girl. Pinkie finds himself falling for Rose but how sure is he that she won't speak to the police and more so, how can Rose trust a murderer who might make her the next victim.
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Inventive British filmmaker Barnard takes on Oscar Wilde's children's story with the same artistic creativity...
There's a terrific blast of nostalgia in this finely crafted film, which will probably make...
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The Earnshaw family live in the remote countryside of North Yorkshire. One day, Mr Earnshaw...
The trailer for the fourth instalment from The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has arrived!...
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