EIFF 2016 Review: Tommy’s Honour (2016)

 

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The compelling performances delivered by Peter Mullan and Jack Lowden as Tom Morris and his son Tommy, respectively, are the main draw of this tender tribute of two golfing legends that helped shape the sport to what it is today. It’s directed by Jason Connery from a script by Pamela Marin and Kevin Cook that’s decidedly watery when it comes to dramatics. Continue reading “EIFF 2016 Review: Tommy’s Honour (2016)”

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Review: Sunshine On Leith (2013)

Sunshine On Leith

Inspired by the back-catalogue of Scottish band The Proclaimers, and based on Stephen Greenhorn’s successful stage hit, Dexter Fletcher’s Sunshine on Leith is a convivial and well shot musical that forms a narrative and articulates the variable emotions of its characters through upbeat, crowd-pleasing pop songs to varying degrees of success. Fresh from a tour in Afghanistan, Davy (George MacKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie) return home to Edinburgh. Continue reading “Review: Sunshine On Leith (2013)”

Review: Welcome To The Punch (2013)

Welcome To The Punch

British-born writer and director Eran Creevy broke onto the scene with the BAFTA-nominated crime thriller Shifty. His follow-up Welcome To The Punch, however, provides him with a better canvass to showcase his skills and, despite an overriding sense that style has been favoured over substance, proves to be a decent success, particularly in showing how much can be achieved on a slim budget. Continue reading “Review: Welcome To The Punch (2013)”

Review: The Joy Of Six (2013)

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Short films have never had quite the same attention placed upon them as feature length films. However, with a new scheme launched by New British Cinema Quarterly, in partnership with independent distributors Soda Pictures, it seems that’s set to change in a very positive way. The Joy Of Six, a collection of six short films from up-and-coming British talent, offers a unique and innovative way for audiences to discover and potentially embrace the short film format. The six shorts, starring Peter Mullan, Judi Dench and Tom Hiddleston amongst others, range in length and quality, though Continue reading “Review: The Joy Of Six (2013)”

Review: Tyrannosaur (2011)

Tyrannosaur, actor come filmmaker Paddy Considine’s expansion upon his critically acclaimed yet seldom seen short film Dog Altogether, is no easy watch. Centered on issues of loneliness, domestic abuse and poverty, it’s a distressingly blunt British drama with a level of honesty that’s rarely seen.

Plagued by brutality and an inner turmoil that’s leading him towards self-destruction, Joseph (Peter Mullan) happens upon Christian charity worker Hannah (Olivia Colman), who, at first, seems like the perfect antithesis. As their relationship deepens, dark secrets about their respective personal lives boil to the surface, with potentially devastating consequences.

While Considine has unquestionably asserted himself in the film industry as a brilliant actor through his attentive and honest attitude towards the characters he plays and the stories these inhabit, it’s still surprising to witness him slip so comfortably into his roles as Continue reading “Review: Tyrannosaur (2011)”

Review: NEDS (2010)

Peter Mullan returns to the 1970’s Glasgow of his youth with NEDS, his third feature as writer, director and star.

The film centers on John McGill, a bright and sensitive young boy about to start secondary school. Before long, social mores and peer pressure turn the John feral, forcing him among the eponymous NEDS, his only form of acceptance.

Despite clearly being influenced by the work of Ken Loach and Shane Meadows, Mullan abandons all the usual inviting genre tropes, instead opting for full-on, stark, discomforting realism, disrupted by the occasional stroke of surrealism, executing it terrifically.

The stark realism lets us, on a one-to-one basis, experience John’s intimidation and harsh, lonely lifestyle. It’s discomforting, but works terrifically in the films favour, highlighting the pernitent inescapability from gang culture in the 1970’s.

McCarron, plucked from obscurity by Mullan, gives a startlingly assured, emotional debut performance as John, convincingly showcasing his downward journey from the giddy heights to the violent, life-altering lows.

NEDS is an intimate, poignant and charmingly peculiar film, remarkably directed by Peter Mullan.