Writer/Director: Paddy Considine
Running time: 92 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18
UK Release date: 7th October 2011 (limited)
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 17th February 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
You will usually find the scores I give to movies are pretty close to those shown on the various web sites I choose to frequent. This tells you that, in general, I’m pretty much in step with public opinion in many cases. However, you occasionally find a film where my opinion differs quite widely from the public; and this is one of those rare occasions. I will explain why after this very brief summary.
Joseph (Peter Mullan) is an older man who has some issues; mainly connected with anger. One day after a run-in with a group of youths in a bar, he seeks refuge in a charity shop run by Hannah (Olivia Colman). She is a Christian and takes pity on this troubled man. They go their separate ways but he comes back the next day after he has been beaten up by some youths (maybe the same lot from the bar). Eventually an unlikely friendship forms between them. Hannah is in a loveless marriage to James (Eddie Marsan); who is abusive to her in ways you cannot imagine. But she persists in keeping the marriage going. That is until one night he goes too far and she finds the only person she can turn to is Joseph… But can he help her?
I first have to say that the performances are all quite stunning; particularly Olivia Colman. She takes a very measured approach to the role and it comes off perfectly. Peter Mullan was also excellent as Joseph; a great piece of casting as I felt he was ideal for the role. Eddie Marsan plays the abusive and somewhat creepy husband just right and I have to also give a mention to the young actor Samuel Bottomley, who plays a local boy who Joseph looks out for. I’m sure this young man will have a great future. This is a film that is all about the performances; there are no special effects or fancy camera trickery; it lives or dies on the performances and I have to say (for me at least) it worked to a tee! One of the criteria I use when deciding whether I like a film or not, is the emotional response it generates. And I can honestly say with this one it was all positive. Don’t get me wrong, you are taken all around the houses on the way there, but to end it they way they did I though was just perfect!
SteelMonster’s verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My score: 9.6/10.
IMDb Score: 7.5/10 (based on 14,170 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 65/100: (Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 85/100 (based on 6,176 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Hannah: God loves you. You're God's child.
Joseph: God ain't my fucking daddy, my daddy was a cunt. He knew he was a cunt. God still thinks he's God. No-one's told him otherwise.
Hannah: I feel safe with you.
Joseph: Nobody's safe with me.
Joseph: What happened to you?
Hannah: I fell over.