7.7/10
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Special People (2007)

Enlisted to teach a class of wheelchair-users about filmmaking, the neurotic Jasper gets a little more than he bargained for. His charges seem to know more than he does about his subject; ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Dave
...
Jasper
Robyn Frampton ...
Jess
Sasha Hardway ...
Anais
David Proud ...
Scott Swadkins
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matthew Dunster ...
Toby
Simon Lowe ...
Policeman
Lucinda Raikes ...
Ann
Dave Thomas ...
Farmer
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Storyline

Enlisted to teach a class of wheelchair-users about filmmaking, the neurotic Jasper gets a little more than he bargained for. His charges seem to know more than he does about his subject; they're not impressed by his own heartfelt social realist oeuvre; and they meet his every suggestion with the blank indifference peculiar to the streetwise adolescent. Questions condescending outreach projects, self-defeating attitudes within the disabled community, and the vacuity of the film business - all with a sly wink and a healthy helping of self-parody. Written by EFF

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Welcome to reality

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Drama

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21 November 2008 (UK)  »

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Proper independent British film
16 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jasper is a film maker with ideological convictions but without a production budget. He finds himself involved in some work for the council to help make ends meet, teaching film-making to a handful of children with disabilities. One of his charges has his own views, one would rather be anywhere else but cooped up in a hall with Jasper and a video camera and one couldn't care less.

In the end, blessedly, it's not about disabilities or the power of cinema. This is no Dead Poets with ramps. It is about these characters. And mostly it is about Jasper, trying to figure it out. His failed relationship with a woman. His ambiguous relationship with the idea of cinema.

The result is not perfect, but hugely watchable. The central performance by Dominic Coleman holds the film together. The young people are believable. The story line is small in scale but engaging and illuminating. If it were French it would be a hit.

But it's British, and its neither feel-good nor auter-ish. Without earnest and well funded distribution, it disappears. Which is a shame.


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