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Hallam Foe More at IMDbPro »

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45 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Jamie Bell comes of age

Author: BoneyB from United Kingdom
9 October 2007

Years on from his success in Billy Elliott, it's great to see Jamie Bell being given a vehicle to show that he has the genuine talent to carry a film. Hallam Foe is a fine British production; quirky, disturbing, funny, interesting, thought-provoking and consistently well-shot and soundtracked. At the same time, it's a little gimmicky, heavily-influenced (Trainspotting, Rear Window et al), and frankly far-fetched in its depiction of the unlikely love between Hallam and the object of his affection in Edinburgh (Sophie Myles). But where the disbelief needs suspending,Jamie Bell's performance saves the day, on the emotional side through bringing tremendous depth to his character, and on the physical side by making his rooftop athleticism completely believable. For all its faults, this is a admirable and brave piece of work, well worth-watching if you're after something dark and provocative that will also make you laugh (the badger suit?).

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49 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Funny, affecting, stimulating, sexy, stylish and not a little alarming

Author: christopher-underwood from United Kingdom
29 August 2007

Excellent and spot on movie. Not only is this so well directed and acted, it has a difficult story to tell and convinces us 100% time. It is certainly in part the performance of Jamie Bell that helps us take this story of a peeping tom hero on board so effortlessly, but because everything else also buzzes so authentically, we can only conclude that , for once, we have a superb script. I didn't notice one word of dialogue that jarred and this when we have such taboo items up for discussion and for the doing of! Bell as mentioned is excellent but so are all the cast and because I do mean all we have to conclude that Mr Mackenzie has a rare actor directing skill. Sophia Myles is also well worthy of mention, and seems capable of disarming changes that always seem likely to catch one off guard. Funny, affecting, stimulating, sexy, stylish and not a little alarming. Do not miss this movie.

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35 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Oedipus Complex, Obsession and Voyeurism

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
23 February 2008

The seventeen year-old Hallam Foe (Jamie Bell) is a weird teenager that misses his mother that committed suicide, drowning in a lake nearby their house in Edinburgh after an overdose of sleeping pills. Hallam spends his spare time peeping the locals and blames his stepmother Verity Foe (Claire Forlani), accusing her of killing his mother. After a discussion with his father Julius Foe (Ciarán Hinds), Hallam sneaks out from his house and travels to London, where he sees Kate Breck (Sophia Myles) and becomes obsessed for her because of her resemblance with his mother. Kate hires Hallam to work in the kitchen of the hotel where she works and they have a strange romance, while Hallam reaches his maturity through the hardest way.

"Hallam Foe" is a surprisingly great and stylish little movie with an original and erotic romance with Oedipus complex, obsession and voyeurism. The enjoyable story is funny, sexy and dramatic and the characters are well developed with great performances and chemistry of Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

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39 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Heartfelt drama with a terrific angry young man

Author: EnvyYouProductions from Munich, Germany
31 July 2007

Since Hallam's (Jamie Bell) mother died two years ago, he has detached himself from life, watching (even spying) the people from a distance, going as far as breaking in and searching their closets. He despises his stepmother (a surprisingly matured Claire Forlani) who he suspects of having murdered his mom. So Hallam takes off from the Scottish countryside to Glasgow, where he prowls the roofs, and finds a girl eerily resembling his mother. Revealing more of the story wouldn't do it justice. Jamie Bell masterfully plays an angry young man, reminiscing of Holden Caulfield. The film creates magical sequences, sports a wry northern humour, and doesn't shy away from exploring the feeling of loss and pain. Although the plot background relies too much on textbook psychology, HALLAM FOE remains a kindhearted, lively drama beyond the streamline tearjerkers. 7/10

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18 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Have I seen Hallam Foe?

Author: g_imdb-465 from United Kingdom
4 September 2007

Definitely. I even dreamt about him. Jamie Bell's performance as a juvenile peeping tom is one that stays with you, following your subconscious around without permission. Eliciting sympathy one moment and astonishment the next, this teenager reeling from the death of his mother leaves viewers similarly out of kilter. A dramatic thriller funnier than a lot of what passes for comedy, David McKenzie's new feature is beautifully shot in Scotland without wasting a second, the camera lingering like Hallam's binoculars one moment before leaping to the next vantage point. The plot often feels erratic as Hallam rushes around Edinburgh in a haze of paranoia and confusion, but I felt this added to my sympathy for the young crazy, and only a couple of conveniently unfortunate incidents to ratchet up the tempo jarred slightly. A strong soundtrack from Scottish indie heroes Orange Juice and a host of their darker-tinged descendants helped everything along nicely. A strong cast made for compelling viewing, particularly Sophia Myles as the object of Hallam's roving lenses, though for me it was Jamie Bell's impressive turn that made it real. He even overshadowed Spud.

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19 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A voyage of voyeurism.

Author: come2whereimfrom from United Kingdom
9 September 2007

Jamie bell has certainly come a long way from that little dancing boy 'Billy Elliot', although he never seems to get any older, and here he takes another challenging role as Hallam Foe. Hallam is introduced to us as he skylines onto a couple having sex near his tree house, not only is he semi-clad and wearing make-up he is sporting a rather bizarre piece of headgear made out of a badger. It is at this point we the audience can assume that Hallam is not only a bit mad but a bit creepy, which apparently stems from his mothers suicide. From here on in the story sees him leave behind his tree house sanctuary, not by choice, and fly the nest to Edinburgh, he is homeless, jobless and believes his step mother killed his real mother. Armed with his trusty binoculars he scrambles around the roof tops spying on the residents of the city and we learn that he distanced himself from people when he lost his mother and it just turned into a kind of habit, a modern day peeping tom. As opposed to the obsession he had with everyone before he left home, he becomes focused on Kate, a human resources officer for a large hotel, mainly due to the fact that she reminds him of his mother. After conning his way into a job at the hotel he embarks on a relationship with Kate but his spiralling madness, dark secret and Kate's regular sex partner threaten everything and push Hallam further down the spiral. Directed by David Mackenzie it really does have a sense of love for the city and its people, but its Bell and Sophia Myles (Kate), whose strange relationship forms the centre of the film, that carry the plot along. With music from the likes of Orange Juice to Sons and Daughters and an exclusive Franz Ferdinand track the pace is upbeat and the David Shrigley Cartoon titles should be an inclination to the type of quirky film this is. Bold, funny and a little disturbing Hallam Foe is an enjoyable romp through the weird and wonderful world of the human mind and emotions and how certain things can affect our everything.

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

entertainingly wayward

Author: (gsygsy) from london uk
6 September 2007

Excellent performances, including a beautiful one by the city of Edinburgh, are what make this erratic movie worth seeing. Jamie Bell is very endearing, and demonstrates a wide emotional range (compare and contrast dull American actors like Ryan Phillippe and Matt Damon). He's well supported by, amongst others, Sophia Myles, Jamie Sives, that wonderful old stager Maurice Roeves and, in an splendid cameo, Ewan Bremner.

The story loses itself in unconvincing melodrama towards the end, which is a pity. Up till then it's an eccentric, entertainingly wayward affair, with a sparky script, good photography and lively editing.

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18 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A Self-Conscious British Film that Strives Hard to be a Departure, but Spoils its Initial Promise

Author: Afzal Shaikh from London, England
18 September 2007

Hallam Foe is so self-consciously a left field British Indie, at times it seems close to self-parody. The result is a film that strives hard to be a departure, but spoils its early promise.

The film is about an adolescent, Hallam Foe, in a Scots upper middle-class dysfunctional family (wife recently dead, the husband having replaced her with his young English lover) on a remote Scottish estate. The early scenes are full of an atmosphere of unknown menace and lurid danger, reminiscent of Ian MacEwan's early stories.

Hallam Foe is a very unusual, oedipal adolescent, one of many young screen protagonists that seem to be the spawn of the original fictional teenage weirdo, Holden Caulfield. After a lurid altercation with his father's distinctly dodgy lover, Hallam jumps ship and goes to the big city, where he quickly becomes obsessed with a female stranger who resembles his mother, and struggles with the loss of innocence and tensions of adolescence. But after developing a relationship with the stranger, the film becomes slack and loses interest as the plot becomes tenuous and spins off into improbability.

Still, on the plus side, Hallam Foe is not bad and even quite funny, and has a real sense of place. The cast is good, particularly Jamie Bell and Sophia Myles, both of whom give demanding performances.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Weird voyeuristic drama

Author: Alain English from London, England
1 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Probably one of the most widely anticipated films of this year, "Hallam Foe" is a weird voyeuristic drama, a mix of whodunit, romance and family drama.

There is a great level of eccentricity that completely permeates "Hallam Foe", and this generates right from the eponymous title character, in an intense yet believably rounded performance from Jamie Bell.

Hallam (Bell) is a self-absorbed outsider obsessed with his dead mother who lives with his dad (Ciaran Hinds) and his stepmother (Claire Forlani) in the Scottish Highlands. Hallam likes to spy on other people, and his pasttime has descended into an obsession. Kicked out of his house after he goes too far, he heads to Edinburgh where he gets a job as a kitchen porter, beginning a romance with his boss Kate (Sophia Myles), the spitting image of his mum...

The film looks great, with some great location shooting in the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh, complemented with a lively contemporary soundtrack.

Bell is well supported by Hinds and Forlani, along with rising star Sophia Myles as the luminous Kate. Jamie Sives as excellent as Hallam's thoroughly dislikeable love rival, and Maurice Roeves and Ewen Bremner, as his bonkers work colleagues, provide much welcome comic relief.

It can feel a bit too weird for its own good and Hallam does things which would land ordinary people in jail, and it's only through Bell's sympathetic portrayal that we're warming to him, when probably we shouldn't.

For anyone keen to see what all the fuss has been about, "Hallam Foe" is well worth your time.

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21 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Story of a young man's sexual confusion.

Author: jambo-9 from Airdrie, Scotland
16 September 2007

A prime example of a 'small' (or 'wee' as we say in Scotland) film. It deals exclusively with one family and their particular quirks. This film could be French - they are the masters of this particular genre. Not a lot really happens and some of what does is extremely implausible. To say the family members are dysfunctional is an understatement. Much of their behavior bears no resemblance to the lives of people I know. The strengths of 'Hallam Foe' are the performances, the soundtrack and the cinematography. Action shifts between a large country estate and the beautiful city of Edinburgh (very strangely, though, there are no shots of the world-famous Castle - like panoramic views of the Paris skyline that omit the Eiffel Tower!). Jamie Bell is excellent as the eponymous Hallam - he even gets to do a couple of runs and jumps that hark back to 'Billy Elliot'! Sophia Myles is convincing as a hotel manager with an inability to sustain fulfilling relationships. The central theme revolves around sexual confusion/obsession and much of the plot concerns Hallam's turbulent attitude to sex. Overall, this is an unremarkable film but not without merit.

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