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Tom (Freddie Cunliffe), an alienated 15 year old boy, finds the that opportunity for close observation of his father, after their move from London to rural Devon and the birth of a new baby, reveals a world run through with darkness and pain. Tom is unable to reconcile the life he's known what he sees with his own eyes, and blames his 18 year old sister, Jessie (Lara Belmont). Both Tom and Jessie struggle to find some path to truth and sanity as the human forces around them work in polarity with their isolation to either assist them, or destroy them. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Ray Winstone and Tilda Swinton's characters are only referred to as mum and dad. This was a deliberate choice by Tim Roth so they would only be known as parents and not be referenced in any other context. See more »
This is hard medicine -- definitely NFE (not for everyone)
The 1998 Danish Dogma film "The Celebration" (Festen) is another hard medicine movie, intense drama about family strives and incest. The Danish film shows the intensity through dialogs and character reactions. Tim Roth's film cuts to the chase and shows the vivid horror of the actual act. Tim does not skirt around the subject. He takes the subject right on and tackles it directly and really shakes up the viewers. It's raw emotions -- nothing sentimental. The actors are in their natural appearances with not much make-up: Tilda Swinton you see her with the pregnant creased skin-folds of a tummy inelegance; the two teenagers (Lara Belmont as Jessie, Freddie Cunliffe as Tom) in their casual demeanor/slouching poses; Ray Winstone as the seemingly unsuspicious father who looks like any man of the house, full of himself and chatting incessantly (in a way, an indication of certain insecurity and self-doubt?).
We don't get to see the predator's face much. Director Tim Roth wants the focus on the heinous act vs. personal faces, which could be anybody who has had such traumatic experience at home. Home is where the trust and warmth of a family together should be. Through Tim's delivery, we see the coldness and frustration the two teenagers face, esp. Tom the son, who discovered the wrongful act accidentally and felt confused and unable to talk to anyone about it -- his sister, the victim, just as confused and unable to talk about it. The different levels of fear that each member of the family has A poignant film, with explicit scenes sensitively choreographed, demands viewers attention to the tough subject at hand. We can't turn away -- the inevitable merciless truth presented in our face on the screen. It's a bold attempt. This film calls for attention to the subject of incest and its traumatic consequences beyond imagination. Roth succeeded.
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