3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
toxina90 from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
17 March 2012
I didn't know what to expect with this but was lucky enough to attend a
special screening as part of the films tour across the UK in Newcastle.
The plot is easy to relate to, following quirky young lady Ailidh and
the world within her apartment block and imagination. It is her
encounters with Jacob and Mrs Nichols which truly bring the film
together and evoke life affirming thoughts; the importance of human
kindness, tolerance, and also the risk of judging others before you
know them fully. Her passion for writing, drawing, taking pictures and
telling stories is particularly inspiring and emotional. It is like a
coming of age, but with one who is already quite wise, and her
neighbours feed off each-others zest and intuition to help their
The opening credits are delightful and innovative, an apt introduction
to Ailidh's imagination, and the score is also excellent and engaging,
fitting the character and plot development perfectly, I loved hearing
Roisin Murphy when Jacob and Ailidh attend the fancy dress party!
Ailidh and Jacob are outsiders, and I found them so relatable
especially in this scene as they reminded me so much of me and my
friends! The direction is spirited and admirable, with techniques such
as keeping actors Claire and Mirren apart until they actually meet to
great effect (reminiscent of Mike Leigh with Brenda Blethyn and
Marianne Jean-Baptiste in Secrets & Lies).
Overall this is a delightful, ray of sunshine, although there are
important bleak undertones dealt with, this does not detract from the
films purpose. It is sad, funny, and refreshing. If you are a fan of An
Education, or Mike Leigh's work you'll definitely find something to
enjoy here. It is just a shame that it didn't receive widespread
distribution (shame on top distributors who rejected it!) so more
people could see it, as it could definitely be eligible for top film
awards. Mirren Burke gives a confident, snappy, illuminating debut.
Claire Garvey is subtly engaging and effective. Rollo Weeks continues
development and transition from excellent performances in youth (such
as in The Lost Prince) and is remarkable as the boy next door. Of
course as usual Sylvia Sims is brilliant, giving great depth and humour
to a character who many will and should relate to.
As an aside I'd like to mention after the show I met and chatted with
director Bryan O'Neill and lead actress Mirren Burke. They are such
lovely and genuine people, I was embarrassed at how much I clicked with
Mirren and felt like she was asking me all the questions! We talked
about film, acting, Mike Leigh, Lesley Manville, writing...I felt so
lucky and star struck yet also felt like we'd been friends for ages!
Here is a talented director with an eye for real human stories, and a
very talented and kind young actress, and I hope they both, upon giving
such an impressive debut, go onto great success on their next projects
as they deserve it. See this if you can, the future is bright for them,
and also congratulations to the more established crew. Booked Out is a
treat for those who enjoy films about real people dealing with real
issues and situations in a sensitive and funny way.
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