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1999
Drama
1h 34m
Glasgow, summer, 1973. Dustmen are striking; bags of garbage add to the blight of council flats and a fetid canal. Ryan, who's about 12, drowns during a play fight with his neighbor, the jug-eared James. James runs home, a flat where he lives with his often-drunk da, his ma, and sisters, who live in hope of moving to newly-built council flats. The slice-of-life, coming-of-age story follows James as he tags along with the older lads... (imdb)
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Rated
73rd
82
A moody, slowly paced look at lower-class Scottish life, much in the same vein as Ken Loach or Mike Leigh. The guilt of young James looms over everything as much as the ubiquitous heaps of garbage, without ever being spoken of outright. Some say the ending is ambiguous, but I think it can really only be interpreted one way (the darker way). The fantasy sequence involving Kenny's mouse is a slight misstep and doesn't fit. Otherwise it's very well-done, but not really my kind of thing.
Rated
93rd
5
New companionship, a field of wheat, a mouse's odyssey: temporary respites from a complete smothering of poverty, refuse, and guilt. These moments of escape are so warm and affectionate, all the better to break our hearts when it becomes clear that they are ultimately unattainable. Belongs to a short list of great films which embrace truthfully the internal lives of children.
Rated
58th
80
Bleak and dreary, yet somehow, likely through the use of children, Ramsey elicits compassion for and finds beauty in the people that populate this darkened world. The opening sequence is an effective bit of misdirection that makes it much easier to feel for James. And the woman who plays his mother is especially good evoking strength, stability, and softness in an understated performance.
Rated
86th
80
Starting out with a death, then loosely structured as a coming-of-age journey, the film turns out to be a mostly plotless (or at least anti-narrative) portrayal of a boy's life. The natural performances were great. Seen as a feature debut this is a downright miraculous effort from Ramsay who succeeds in combining grubby social realism with an eye-poppingly picture perfect style.
Rated
27th
66
An incredibly loose film that should've either been grounded more or should've been shorter by almost half its length. All I got from this film was the environment it placed me in and made me sympathise, but that could've been done in forty or fifty minutes. Still, some scenes are better than others and the child acting in this is pretty excellent.
Avg Percentile 69.14% from 634 total ratings
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Last modified by:djrossdjross on 07 Jun 2022