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The Lives of the Saints (2006)

Mr Karva runs a shady little empire in North London. We don't know exactly how he makes his money but we know it's probably not very nice. Mr Karva's stepson, Othello, has ambitions to take... See full summary »




1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Karva
Emma Pierson ...
Sam MacLintock ...
The Child
Daon Broni ...
Gillian Kearney ...
Father Daniel
James Cook ...
Twin Boy I
Jude Cook ...
Twin Boy II
Paddy Fletcher ...
Drunk / Michali
Stella Quilley ...
Renu Setna ...
Maqsood Senior
Maqsood Junior
Josh Cole ...


Mr Karva runs a shady little empire in North London. We don't know exactly how he makes his money but we know it's probably not very nice. Mr Karva's stepson, Othello, has ambitions to take the old man's place; and Othello's fainthearted friend, Emilio, has ambitions of his own. This delicate balance of power is upset when Roadrunner finds a strange, sickly-looking 10 year old boy in the park. All his life, Roadrunner has been on the move - but when he looks into the child's eyes, he finds he can finally stop running. It becomes clear that the child can grant each character their own taste of heaven - the 'perfect, rosy future of your dreams'. The child never talks but transforms the world around him, working on the desire in each character's heart, whatever it may be. Othello wins every bet he makes; Christella finds a new son to replace the baby she lost; Mr. Karva achieves his elusive orgasm and Father Daniel is finally able to express his own secret passions. But nothing ever ... Written by Dazed Film & TV

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, sexual content including images of an assault, violence, drug use and some strong language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 January 2007 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


I See A Darkness
Written & Composed by Will Oldham
Published by Royal Stable Music (ASCAP)
Arranged by David Lindsay
Banjo & Guitar David Lindsay
Vocals Steve Simpson
Viola Bob Loveday
See more »

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User Reviews

Just cos it's Rankin...
12 May 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a photographer myself, but don't find the aura of Rankin to be beguiling at all, I was almost hoping that this was a failure, that it was as bad as most reviews make it out to be.

Direction-wise, it is very ordinary, indeed. No 'special eye'; just pointing the camera in the right direction at the right time. But, I like a challenge, I like a difficult movie and I'll give Brit flicks an extra effort, so I watched this with an open mind.

Yes, James Cosmo as gangster Karva is a difficult fella to like and I can't work out if he's being himself or is indeed, acting. Either way, he's either overacting or an extremely overexcited, maybe unstable individual. David Leon, as the Runner at least adds some semblance of decency until the movie descends into Tarantino territory, in a torture scene. Then it goes back into a Cockney 'Shameless' zone, as the wide- eyed 'saint/angel' or whatever "it" is goes from speechless orphan to fortune teller and caster of wishes in a nano-second - and miracle of all miracles, everybody knows this, without the child seemingly having said anything.

Unfortunately, The Lives Of...has the narrative consistency of school- dinner custard as it jumps about like a frog in a blender and basically one's faith in it diminishes as all credibility crashes.

The script wants to be big and clever but isn't, it's just shouty and aggressive. As the religious bits kicked in, I was not relishing the afore-warned appearance of Marc Warren, who is, to my mind a greatly overrated actor, who always manages to rub me up the wrong way. That's a personal thing, of course and shouldn't affect my view of the film itself, but it does.

At this point, during a scene in church, where a man burps and then plugs from a large bottle of vodka, I did a rare thing - and switched it off. A waste of everybody's time, especially mine. I saw it on BBC2

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