IMDb > The Low Down (2000)
The Low Down
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Release Date:
26 January 2001 (UK) See more »
[The Low Down] On Life.. On Love...
Relationships as they are really lived. | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Stunningly, horribly true See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order)

Aidan Gillen ... Frank

Kate Ashfield ... Ruby
Dean Lennox Kelly ... Mike

Tobias Menzies ... John
Rupert Procter ... Terry
Samantha Power ... Lisa
Dena Smiles ... Susan (as Deanna Smiles)
Maggie Lloyd Williams ... Jean
Agnieszka Liggett ... Anna
Alysha Westlake ... Basketball Player

Adam Buxton ... Adam

Joe Cornish ... Joe
Paula Hamilton ... Cashpoint Woman
Alicya Eyo ... Paul Girl
Dorian Lough ... Squash Player

Clint Dyer ... Nathan
Rachel Isaac ... Nicola

Elliot Levey ... Peter

Martin Freeman ... Solomon
Liz Liew ... Vera
Michael Hodgson ... Pubman

Michael McKell ... Pubman

Alex Palmer ... Pubman
Vass Anderson ... Landlord
Anthony Warren ... Street Corner Man
Paul Dungworth ... Street Corner Man
Barry Dobbin ... Street Corner Man

Directed by
Jamie Thraves 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jamie Thraves 

Produced by
Sally Llewellyn .... producer
John Stewart .... producer
Original Music by
Nick Currie 
Fred Thomas 
Cinematography by
Igor Jadue-Lillo 
Film Editing by
Lucia Zucchetti 
Casting by
Amanda Tabak 
Production Design by
Lucy Reeves 
Art Direction by
Alistair Saunders 
Costume Design by
Julie Jones 
Makeup Department
Julie Biddle .... makeup artist
James MacKinnon .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Mark Hubbard .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Emma Griffiths .... assistant director
Emma Pounds .... assistant director
Mick Ward .... third assistant director
Sound Department
Glenn Calder .... sound re-recording mixer
Jens Christensen .... adr editor
Jens Christensen .... adr recordist
Paul Davies .... supervising sound editor
Sam Diamond .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Hamish Doyne-Ditmas .... assistant camera
Mark Taylor .... gaffer
Nick Wall .... still photographer
Casting Department
Belinda Blight .... casting assistant
Editorial Department
Pani Ahmadi-Moore .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Liz Gallacher .... music supervisor
Other crew
Richard E. Johnson .... financial services
Anna Mohr-Pietsch .... additional crew
Rachel Redwood .... unit location manager (as Rachel Vost)
Clare Saxby .... script editor
James Wilson .... production executive: FilmFour
Tobias Zaldua .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

First full length feature film of 'Martin Freeman'.See more »
Love Action (I Believe in Love)See more »


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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Stunningly, horribly true, 25 April 2001
Author: james_hurley from London, England

Jamie Thraves made his name directing pop promos, most notably the spellbinding video for Radiohead's 'Just', whose haunting imagery of a man lying immobile in the street won the MVPA Video of the Year award in 1996.

Unlike most music industry graduates, whose first foray into the world of feature films tend to result in a series of glossy, insubstantial, set pieces impersonating a rounded whole, Thraves has created a slow-burning and engrossing mini-masterpiece about a group of twentysomething friends making the final journey into adulthood.

The star of the show is Frank, played by Aidan Gillen, best known for his part as the arrogant, charismatic Stuart in Channel 4's controversial Queer As Folk. Here he is quite the reverse - quiet, introspective, somewhat emotionally detached, although the enigmatic aura remains.

He works with two college friends making props for television comedies (Adam and Joe make a brief cameo), lives in a semi-squalid flat shared flat in Dalston and exudes a vague, unspoken dissatisfaction with his lot. The truth of the matter, as gradually unravelled by Thraves, is that he has reached a point where student-like existence is no longer enough for him.

Matters are brought to a head when he embarks on a non-committal relationship with an estate agent called Ruby, played by Kate Ashfield. They are both well-versed in this sort of arrangement yet are clearly reaching a stage in their lives where it doesn't suit either, but his stubborn unwillingness to admit this proves problematic.

The Low Down is more about capturing a moment in life than it is about telling a story and for this reason the thinness of the plot is a positive advantage. Where it transcends countless 'coming of age' efforts is in its superlative script and the ingenuity of the camera work and editing.

By using the camera like a third party in the room (think This Life but less frenetic, more natural), Thraves liberates himself from a conventional approach. To this he adds a series of effects such as freeze framing a facial expression while letting the dialogue run on, which creates a heightened verite style more akin to remembering actual events than watching fiction on screen.

The dialogue, a good deal of which looks improvised, is remarkable, capturing the awkwardness, humour, and assorted nonsense of real conversation so accurately that it's a joyous experience to witness. Never is this better executed than in a scene when Frank and friends stagger home with a curry after a night on the town.

Drunk acting is fraught with danger but this is so real, so funny, so brilliantly observed (Dean Lennox Kelly's sozzled impressions of everyone from Billy Connolly to the Blankety Blank theme tune are outrageously good) that you'll believe you were there or, at the very least, wish desperately that you were.

The Low Down is funny, sad, moving, possibly profound and definitely unique. If you appreciate subtle, intelligent British filmmaking, you really ought to see this film. If you spent your early adulthood with a ragbag of humanity anywhere near East London, then you absolutely have to.

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