Rufus Norris (shown at left), whose first film this is, and his movie is cast and acted quite well (as we often get when thespians sit in the first-time-director's chair: witness last year's Quartet) by an excellent cast of both unknowns and knowns. Much of the movie takes place in a small cul-de-sac where several houses very nearly butt up against each other and where much that happens in one house is made privy to the others by virtue of proximity. This is both a bad and, finally, a good thing, but it makes for a hell of a lot of tsuris as the movie moves along.
Robert Emms, above) coming-of-age, bullying, diabetes, and love/romance/commitment -- I'd have to call it a slice-of-life movie, event-packed variety. We're really seeing into what transpires to this odd little "forced-community" in something of the manner, if in very different film style, that we got from Martin Ritt's 1957 film, No Down Payment, over a half-century ago.
Eloise Laurence. Ms Laurence is a natural, and her work here is something like what was achieved by Mary Badham in her To Kill a Mockingbird debut.
Cillian Murphy (below, left, and badly messed up) and Zana Marjanovic, further below, as nanny to Skunk and her brother, who gets rather close to the man of the house.
Boy A screenwriter Mark O'Rowe has done a journeyman job with the novel by Daniel Clay; that excellent cast is worth seeing; and the performance of Ms Laurence almost demands a viewing. Director Norris also does a nice job of allowing us to see that no one here is pure villain or hero. There are shades to us all.
Film Movement and running but 91 minutes, opens this Friday, July 19, in New York City at the Quad Cinema and in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Music Hall, Beverly Hills. The film will open simultaneously in 21 cities across the country before expanding to other venues in the weeks to come. To see all currently scheduled playdates, click here and scroll down.