Rather condescendingly and disappointingly this DVD has English subtitles come up by default. Why? Because it's Scottish and whilst some accents are stronger than others, most, if not all dialogue will be quite clear to all of us, here in Britain.
Actress Alison Peebles, who's CV looks a bit bleak, debuts with this her first, and only feature film. It's quite dour, depressing at times and is held together mainly by some now familiar actors and their performances.
Kevin McKidd and Shirley Henderson, both stars in Trainspotting, here play arrogant journalist and his photographer/artist girlfriend, respectively. Both have carved Hollywood careers since. As Kenny, he starts out following a story concerning one of those now notorious Swiss euthanasia clinics, after a man suspected of being mentally unwell was 'treated' there and wasn't in a position to decide his fate for himself.
This rather pales into the background as the intense Kenny copes with his mother, May, who is diagnosed with ovarian cancer and her chances are slim. He is further bound by his Downs syndrome sister, Roberta, whose character blows through the otherwise maudlin story like a breath of fresh air. Real-life Downs sufferer Paula Sage cannot help bring smiles and tears - anyone who knows a Downs person (I worked with one) know all too well their zest for life and can be very characterful but also their vulnerabilities.
These elements do - though not always smoothly, or satisfactorily run alongside and with each other. Kenny is obviously annoyed by his sister's long term incapacity and the limits that puts on his freedom, both as journalist and future life with his new girlfriend. This is intentionally made obvious, but that doesn't make him, or the film any more pleasant.
Some reviews on other sites have said how the ending was a disappointment, or other phrases meaning much the same thing. Obviously, without even hinting what that is, I would say that I for one, was OK with it.
I have to admit that I bought this DVD in error, as I was in a shop many years ago and knew of another film with the same name, but without being able to access reference material, I bought the wrong one. I found the one I wanted later (Hirokazu Koreeda's 1998 Japanese film).
So, get this mainly for early performances - including Eddie Marsden - and a sterling and at times uplifting performance from Paula Sage.
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