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Jack (Bob Hoskins) is consumed by guilt and past regret. He is hated by his son and abused by local youths. The death of his wife leaves Jack lost and alone in his self loathing. Hope arrives in the unlikely form of eight year old, Florrie, when she moves in next door and delights in Jack's neglected racing pigeons, unwittingly rekindling his own love for the birds. When his glamorous French neighbour, Stephanie (Josiane Balasko) takes pity on him, Jack cannot help but fall for her charms. When gradually his innocent friendship with Florrie is thrown into question when the girl goes missing and Stephanie reveals a well kept secret, Jack's life is thrown into turmoil. His son comes to his defence amidst the local mob mentality and Jack finally faces his own prejudices to win back Stephanie's love. Written by
Once again my role as a film selector for my local film club has proffered me the chance to view a film before it is released to the general public, either via cinema or DVD. In the most recent case it was the new film from director Jan Dunn - whose 'Gypo' recently won some excellent reviews from the critics, then disappeared without trace.
Unfortunately I can see a similar fate befalling this film, not because it is a bad film, but simply because it just falls short of having that little something that really successful films have. With Bob Hoskins in the leading role of Jack, a much put-upon, often misunderstood man with a dark past, a touch of class is given to the film - even in those stinkers (ie 'Hook') that Hoskins has appeared in he has brought a touch of class! Backed up by an excellent performance by Josiane Balasko, and some sterling work by the supporting cast all the ingredients appear to be there for an outstanding film, but...
What lets the film down is the fact that the story lines running throughout are all a little obvious. The central concept of a man hitting rock bottom via things happening that are out of his control, rising up, falling again and finding some sort of peace in the end is not a new concept by any means, and here it is only the odd little twist, and the aforementioned performances from the leads, that rise this film above the level of a better than average made-for-TV-movie.
No doubt this film will turn up late night on one of the many film channels on TV, in Britain it will most likely be Film 4 or Sky Movies Drama. If it does then it is worth checking out, there is enjoyment and drama to be had via watching, but just don't expect to come away thinking that you have watched a classic in the making!
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