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Ratcatcher (1999)

 -  Drama  -  12 November 1999 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,911 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 64 user | 54 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Da
Mandy Matthews ...
Ma
William Eadie ...
James
Michelle Stewart ...
Ellen
Lynne Ramsay Jr. ...
Anne Marie (as Lynne Ramsay Jnr.)
Leanne Mullen ...
Margaret Anne
John Miller ...
Kenny
Jackie Quinn ...
Mrs. Quinn
James Ramsay ...
Mr. Quinn
Anne McLean ...
Mrs. Fowler
Craig Bonar ...
Matt Monroe
Andrew McKenna ...
Billy
Mick Maharg ...
Stef
James Montgomery ...
Hammy
Thomas McTaggart ...
Ryan
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Storyline

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; has a friendship with his quirky wee rodent-loving neighbor, Kenny; spends time with Margaret Anne, myopic, slightly older, the local sexual punching bag; and, has a moment or two of joy. The strike may end, but is there any way out for James? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

neighbor | moving | hope | friendship | canal | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Nazwij to snem  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,762 (USA) (13 October 2000)

Gross:

$216,781 (USA) (27 April 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although this film is in English, the US release has English subtitles because all the characters speak in a very heavy Scottish accent. See more »

Goofs

A radio announcer mentions a football score "Stirling Albion 20, Selkirk 0." That game was played in 1984, not in the early 70's when the film was set. See more »

Quotes

Kenny: Goodbye, Snowball!
See more »

Connections

References Kill the Day (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

C'mon Everybody
Performed by Eddie Cochran
Composed by Jerry Capehart (as Jerry N. Capehart) & Eddie Cochran
© Unart Music Corp
Courtesy of EMI Records Limited
Used by kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Catch some, drop some
30 December 2004 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

The demolition of the Glasgow tenements marked the end of one chapter in the story of poverty in that city; and sadly, the start of another one, as the bleak new schemes that replaced them soon fell into their own downward cycle. Lynne Ramsay's film, 'Ratcatcher', is an utterly unsentimental portrait of those times, though imbued with a measure of hope that only hindsight proves false. As a chronicler of Britain's working classes, Ramsay's style falls somewhere between the realism of Ken Loach and the artistry of Terrence Davies, although arguably lacking the warmth of either. Moreover, at times 'Ratcatcher' seems stylistically overloaded for no particular purpose (the strange fantasy scene with the mouse, for example, seems out of place in the rest of the movie), while when the film gets it right (such as in the opening scenes, which are almost unwatchably harrowing), it's still unclear for what higher aim Ramsay is putting her audience through the emotional wringer. Perhaps if the film was a little less "arty", more conventionally narrative-driven, and with more obvious sympathy, it might actually be more enjoyable to watch. On the other hand, most films which attempt to offer these conventional virtues end up formulaic, sterile and empty, whereas Ramsay's film is raw and in places very powerful. Taking this film together with 'Morvern Callar', her second feature, my feeling is that Ramsay is a director of considerable talent, but maybe still trying, in this early phase of her career, a little too hard. 'Ratcatcher' is not a great film; but hopefully hints at a great one to come.


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