5 items from 2016
A woman and her son return to the isolated religious community of her youth in this atmospheric drama
Strong performances and eye-catching location photography lift this uneven Hebridean drama, recut since its Edinburgh film festival premiere last year. Returning to the island from which she takes her name, Iona (Ruth Negga) and young son Billy (Ben Gallacher) awaken sleeping resentments in an incestuously tight-knit religious community. Thoughts of damnation and the suggestion of miracles sit side by side, hinting at a bigger picture that never quite comes into focus in this flawed but atmospheric work from Shell writer-director Scott Graham.
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- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
★★☆☆☆ Scottish director Scott Graham follows up his impressive, underseen debut Shell with Iona, a similarly sombre tale of isolation and familial relations. A film inspired as much by the dark sophistication of Carl Theodor Dreyer's Ordet as the spiritual clash of cultures in Peter Weir's Witness, Graham's rural study of guilt, faith and redemption is swaddled in an alluring mist of mystery yet lacking in narrative lucidity. The film's title refers to both its central character and its Hebridean setting. The story begins with Iona (Ruth Negga) and her son Billy (Ben Gallagher) on the run, travelling to the remote island she's named after.
- CineVue UK
Iona’s untamed landscape provides the backdrop for this striking film about the aftermath of a violent relationship
A young woman who left an island community as a damaged teenager returns to her childhood home with a secret and her own troubled adolescent son. The remarkable Ruth Negga is a potent presence as the eponymous central character, who was named after the Hebridean island where the story unfolds. Iona, we learn through flashbacks, is fleeing the aftermath of a violent relationship. Her son Billy – or Bull as he prefers to be called – is a taciturn 15-year-old who thrashes in his sleep, soaked in the sweat of the night terrors that plague him. As with his feature debut Shell, writer/director Scott Graham here captures the tensions peculiar to an isolated community. Iona – the film as well as the central character – is complicated by prickly questions of religious faith. It’s a striking piece, »
- Wendy Ide
"I've been writing for three months, so this is the most I've heard my voice for a long time... It's a bit strange." The voice in question, which, incidentally, isn't at all strange, belongs to writer and director Scott Graham, whose second film, Iona, is out on Friday. Graham's debut, Shell, was released to critical and festival circuit acclaim and garnered a BAFTA nomination; however the memory of Shell is bittersweet for the director, who wrote a list of all the things he would change about the film after it was released. He still has the list. Yet, in making Iona, Graham now says he can appreciate Shell for what it is, and is proud of the film. This dissatisfaction indicates the obsessiveness of the perfectionist filmmaker - never happy with the cut, always looking at things to be improved.
And this may be borne out by the. »
- Robert Munro
Exclusive: Jodie Whittaker comedy gets international sales company and deal with new UK distributor.
Tribeca-bound UK comedy Adult Life Skills (formerly known as How To Live Yours) has secured an international sales deal with Independent and a UK distribution deal with fledgling London-based outfit Lorton Distribution, which will make the film its first release.
Broadchurch actress Jodie Whittaker (Black Sea) stars in writer-director Rachel Tunnard’s Tribeca world-premiere about a young woman experiencing an early ‘mid-life crisis’ who lives in a shed at the bottom of her mum’s garden and makes videos using her thumbs as characters.
Supporting cast include Lorraine Ashbourne (The Selfish Giant), Brett Goldstein (SuperBob), Alice Lowe (Sightseers), Eileen Davies (Sightseers) Rachael Deering (The Last Hours Of Laura K), Edward Hogg (Jupiter Ascending) and newcomer Ozzy Myers.
The film is the feature adaptation of Tunnard’s 2015 BAFTA-nominated short Emotional Fusebox, which starred much of the same cast.
Former Screen »
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5 items from 2016
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