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The Arbor (2010)

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Portrayal of the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 7 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lorraine Dunbar
...
Lisa Thompson
...
The Girl
Parvani Lingiah ...
Young Lorraine
...
Max Stafford-Clark / The Father
Kate Rutter ...
The Mother
Liam Price ...
Billy
Robert Haythorne ...
Fred
Josh Brown ...
Policeman
Gary Whitaker ...
Himself
Jamie Timlin ...
Himself
...
Yousaf
...
Young David
Kathryn Pogson ...
Pamela Dunbar
...
David Dunbar
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Storyline

Portrayal of the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar.

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I odos Arbor  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,159, 6 May 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$21,268, 28 August 2011
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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The idea of using actors lip syncing taped interviews was actually first used 10 years previously in the play "State of Affairs", a follow-up of sorts to Andrea Dunbar's own work. See more »

Connections

Features Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

A unique, brave piece of documentary and docu-drama film making.
18 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

It tells the life story of UK playwright Andrea Dunbar, who s was discovered at a very young age in the British housing projects known as 'The Arbor' where she wrote about the alcoholism and family decay she watched around her.

The film uses two extraordinary devices, both of which I found off-putting at first, but had great impact by the end.

First, scenes from Dunbar's plays are staged in the open lawn areas of the real life Arbor, so we see a fight taking place in a living room at night acted out on the grass in broad daylight (with a couch and other living room props sitting there surreally, watched by – presumably – the neighborhood people still struggling under the same conditions. At first this just seemed distracting, but over time, it helped bring home that Dunbar's works represented real people, real lives, real pain.

The second, even odder and more audacious move, is to have all the interviews with the real participants acted out by professional actors lip-syncing to the recorded words of the real people. Again, the was distracting for the first while, but eventually it lead to the film feeling simultaneously dreamy and like a memory, and in some way more 'real' than if the actors simply used their own voices.

A very moving film that doesn't always work, but his heroic enough in it's bravery that it more than overcomes the occasional missed step.


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