Night People (2005) Poster


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A night world full of engaging characters who you really care about
lin-5210 November 2006
I was quickly captivated by this film and wanted to know the outcome for each of these characters. There were some very strong performances. I particularly liked Father Matthew's struggle with his role as a priest in a secular land. A strong interconnecting theme of how we, in a moment of time, can change both our own lives and the lives of others. Also the images of Edinburgh were stunning. I live there, yet had forgotten what a beautiful city it is at night. It is difficult to believe that this film was shot on such a small budget. It shows that it doesn't need masses of money to make a good film. It does need a good story and a good script and of course a director with a vision.
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An object lesson in what can be done with a limited budget.
jerry-4968 November 2006
I saw this film last night and was very pleasantly surprised. I really liked it! The photography was stunning, I loved the subtle differences in the night shots of Edinburgh as the time passed, using the changing light brilliantly. Wildlife-in-the-city shots were also unexpected and this was a clever way to change scenes. For a film that has a supposedly micro budget it had the look of a film with very high production values all round. I liked that there were proper endings to the stories, sensible, believable endings. Not too predictable, we could see the end was coming as it was getting near the morning, but each story could have ended differently, and I think that the audience cared about the characters stories. There wasn't one poor performance from any of the actors, and it's to Adrian Mead's credit as Director that they carried off the comedy as well as the drama. And the little girl? Where on earth did they get her? She was wonderful but I don't think I could stand her if she was around my house all day! It would be unfair to say that this is one of the better Scottish films of recent years, it could quite easily be one of the better British films.
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Night People is the rejuvenation of the Scottish film industry. It's Crash in Edinburgh
Ryan Hendrick16 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This film is absolutely first class, it was gripping, thought provoking, and had a strong > emotional core which grabbed me significantly. The performances > were staggering, innovative and completely genuine. The setting of night time Edinburgh really enhanced the look and quality of the film. The film itself > did leave me with questions afterwards on > the outcome of the boy in the bus station's story, left wondering if the > woman that drove him away was actually a social worker or was that a > deception as I wasn't sure as it the older boy on the phone said "He's well > up for it!" and obviously we were left with the knowledge that he was a rent > boy, so I was left wondering what actually transpired for that strand in the > end. the interaction between Jane and the blind man was excellent, the change she goes through in helping a stranger in need, and his story was such a heart felt story that any member of the audience will definitely tune into.

All in all this is a winner, the rejuvenation of the Scottish film industry has finally arrived in the form of Night People.
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A must see
kolinferguson8 November 2006
One of the best films I've seen this year. Red Road pales in comparison. What first attracted me to NIGHT PEOPLE was the spectacular shots of Edinburgh that I saw in the trailer. Previous films set in Edinburgh like Trainspotting have failed to exploit on the capitals inherent beauty until this one.

To digress for a moment I'm sick and tired of "wee bobby stuck up a close films" the qualifications for funding seem to be:

(1) Is it depressing? (2) Does it show Scotland in a bad light?

Yes? Give that man a grant!

So I had no expectations regarding NIGHT PEOPLE; in fact, I had low expectations going in to watch it; as any film emanating from Scotland seems to wallow in degradation like a toddler fascinated by the contents of its potty.

Whilst I don't deny the existence of such people and places if I want to watch a tap dripping I'll switch one on in my house not pay a tenner for the privilege.

A film makers first job is to entertain.

From the get go in watching NIGHT PEOPLE I knew I was in a safe pair of hands. It's clear that Adrian Mead can tell a story evident from the brisk pace and lack of fat in the narrative.

The film follows the progress of a disparate group of people over the course of one night in Edinburgh. Mead displays a deft touch in handling such diverse subject matters as child prostitution, drug dealing and dog kidnapping.

Now it sounds like I'm contradicting myself by what I've said before.

No, TALENT RESIDES IN THE EXECUTION. NIGHTPEOPLE lacks the overweening worthiness of it's inferior counterparts.

Mead does this by injecting humour into the proceedings to vary the tone of the piece (something lacking in many monotone movies of today) and by keeping his actors on a tight rein avoiding overindulgence and bathos.

The dialogue is first class, in one exchange a priest tells a young homeless girl that God is inside her to which she retorts: " I hope he's wearing a condom."

With the exception of Alan MacCafferty the cast is made up of unknowns which works in its favour since you concentrate on the stories rather than who is baying for a Bafta. Mead also avoids the obvious temptation to interlink the stories in contrived ways. CRASH anyone?

The genius of America and Americans is having no real history of their own they created their own mythology. You see Bullitt and you want to go to San Francisco, watch Pulp Fiction and you want a milkshake in Jack Rabbit Slims. Question? Why can't the Scots do it?

When I watched Red Road it didn't make me want to visit Glasgow anytime soon. Trainspotting did nothing for Edinburgh but Adrian Mead's NIGHT PEOPLE seems to be at the vanguard of something new.

He makes Edinburgh look filmic, it's aspirational, it's a place you'd want to visit on the strength of his images. So if Meads backers have any sense they should be punting NIGHT PEOPLE to North America where I predict it will be a sleeper hit.
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Night to remember
chris_cooper774 February 2007
great film, beautifully shot. Full of warmth and promise throughout the difficulties in life that people are faced with. Each of the characters' tales lead them into a pivotal point in their lives; an immigrant priest confronted by the harsh reality of life, out with the confines of his religion; a single mother forced to ferry drug dealers around in a taxi at night, unable to find a day job or a babysitter to care for her daughter; a mistreated teenager, off to find a better life in London; a single father, struggling to come to terms with the responsibility of raising children without their mother. The film is full of dialogue; conversations and exchanges, written like a series of concurrent plays. Edinburgh is used cleverly; the shared stage, blending beautiful shots of the city at night into the stories, the city itself an additional, overseeing character. A fine debut working wonders with a small budget.
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Highly enjoyable multi-character film
FilmFan200125 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this at the Edinburgh film festival. I'm kind of a sucker for a good multi-character piece and this had some great characters, a cracking script and some lovely little moments. It looks terrific too - Edinburgh at night has probably never looked lovelier and there are some breath-takingly beautiful shots of the sky, etc. The actors, none of whom are famous, are all wonderful (one of them looked like the lovely Zooey Deschanel), except maybe the little girl, although she was saddled with a difficult part to pull off. The plots (which don't overlap, for once) include: a female taxi-driver forced to keep her daughter with her in the cab for the night; a priest who meets a feisty teenager with a dark secret when she takes refuge in his church; a young runaway boy who meets an older rent boy while waiting for the bus to London; and a desperate man whose wife has left him in charge of their two children, who acquires a dog and attempts to sell it in order to feed his family. I really hope this gets the release it deserves - if not, it'll almost certainly show up on TV at some point. Best line: "Do you know this wee lassie reeks of pharmaceutical grade cocaine?" Four stars.
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A pleasant experience
Edinman117 November 2005
We enjoyed this film. Although the subject matter appeared to show the darker side of society, at the end of the day most of the plot lines finished with a positive perspective, although universally happy endings were not ever likely. The photography was excellent, using relatively simple subjects to create scenes of great beauty, without using the easy option of going for all of Edinburgh's more photogenic attractions. It could actually have been any city (except for the accents....) Where there are a number of different plot lines, it is always difficult to maintain interest in them all equally, but the script seemed to get it mostly right. I thought a couple of the plots were very good, and I was less interested in one of the plot-lines, but I suspect everyone watching this film will have their own favourites. The point to a film like this is to come away full of images and stories relating to one night in one city, and I thought the film was successful in this regard. There must always be room for a slower-paced film, but with relatively simple plots, where one can appreciate the craft of camera-work, use of light, sharp dialogue, etc etc.. I would recommend this film.
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An excellent film which sensitively explores how a range of characters of varying ages and backgrounds deal with real-life dilemmas.
moragkerr25 November 2005
Night People is an excellent example of how a low-budget film can provide an absorbing and entertaining cinematic experience. As the stories of the characters unfold at an engaging pace, each presenting its own set of circumstances, there is woven through each tale a set of moral and ethical dilemmas which create the tensions that hold your attention. The transitions between the characters and the events are cleverly intertwined to create moments of blackness followed by comedy -each serving to highlight the other. The camera work shows Edinburgh at its magical best and sensitively captures the emotional substance of the characters as they struggle with their individual predicaments. The outcomes of each story are realistic, no sinking into sentiment, but rather leaving one with a sense of hope and belief in the essential goodness of people.
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Winner of BAFTA Scotland Audience Award
A-J-Jones21 February 2006
Set in Scotland's Capital City, Edinburgh, on Halloween night. This is a beautifully shot film with excellent performances from a promising ensemble cast. A young boy who has run away from home meets with an enticing stranger. A Priest whose faith is being tested to the limit encounters a young girl sleeping rough with a dark secret. A mother with an impossible dilemma is forced to take her 5 year old daughter out on a risky journey and a single father makes hilarious attempts to cover up a crime committed out of love for his kids.

A stunning debut from Director Adrian Mead. Night People, does indeed take us on a journey. Dark and despairing in places, filled with hope and compassion in others.
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Competent, but somehow hollow
Tim3 November 2005
Night People tries to be both a gritty account of life at the bottom of society in contemporary Edinburgh, and a heart-warming story of hope. The interaction of these two concepts ultimately felt too contrived: I needed to be better convinced that some of the characters really could break out from their stereotypes in the way the film wanted me to believe.

The film is entirely character-driven. It is centred on several disparate groups of people, who are merely living out events at the same time and in the same city. The screenplay constantly switches between their individual plots. Night People might be described as a series of short films on similar themes that have been carefully edited together. But that would be unfair. The film needs this variety to disguise the fact that each of the characters spends most of their time in the same location. Unfortunately, since the film is developing half a dozen different stories at once, I think it struggles to give individual characters enough screen-time to engage fully with the audience.

Night People has a lot going for it. Visually it is very well crafted. The film makes clever use of Edinburgh's ever-changing light and sky to create some visually stunning interludes, which give the other scenes a sense of time and place. The script is strong: Some fantastic one-liners, and the kind of small observations on the human condition that everyone can relate to. Perhaps some of the funniest lines are delivered a 'wee' bit too quickly for non-Scottish audiences to comprehend. Overall the acting is first class, in spite of the relative inexperience of most of the cast.

But in the final analysis, Night People doesn't quite hang together. It's on the verge of being a really good film, but yet it left me feeling hollow.
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