7.5/10
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163 user 50 critic

Beautiful Thing (1996)

In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.

Director:

Hettie Macdonald

Writers:

Jonathan Harvey, Jonathan Harvey (play)
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4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Linda Henry Linda Henry ... Sandra Gangel
Glen Berry Glen Berry ... Jamie Gangel
Scott Neal Scott Neal ... Ste Pearce
Tameka Empson Tameka Empson ... Leah Russell
Ben Daniels ... Tony
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Benfield ... Rodney Barr
Daniel Bowers Daniel Bowers ... Trevor Pearce
Garry Cooper ... Ronnie Pearce
Terry Duggan Terry Duggan ... Kevin
Jeillo Edwards Jeillo Edwards ... Rose
Andrew Fraser Andrew Fraser ... Jayson
Beth Goddard ... Brewery Official
Davyd Harries ... Brewery Official
Anna Karen ... Marlene
Dave Lynn Dave Lynn ... Drag Performer
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Storyline

A tender love story set during a hot summer on a South-East London housing estate. Jamie, a relatively unpopular lad who bunks off school to avoid football, lives next door to Ste, a more popular athletic lad but who is frequently beaten up by his father and older brother. Such an episode of violence brings Jamie and Ste together: Sandra (Jamie's mum) offers refugee to Ste, who has to 'top-and-tail' with Jamie. Hence, the story tells of their growing attraction for one another, from initial lingering glances to their irrefutable love, which so magnificently illustrated at the end of the film. It deals with the tribulations of coming to terms with their sexuality and of others finding out, in light of Sandra's unwavering loyalty and defence of Jamie and the fear of repercussion should Ste's family find out. The plot is set against sub-texts of Sandra's desire to manage her own pub, and thus escape the estate, and of her new relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony; and of Leah, the ... Written by Mark Edwards <me93fm@soton.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An urban fairytale.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, pervasive strong language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Classics

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Csodálatos dolog See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,931, 13 October 1996

Gross USA:

$1,548,120

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,548,120
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both lead actors Scott Neal(Ste) and Glen Berry(Jamie) appeared on a popular police TV series The Bill yet not together.Scott Neal's character of PC Luke Ashton on The Bill is also gay,much like Ste.Luke's gay kiss was the first gay kiss ever on The Bill. See more »

Goofs

The rainbow early in the movie is inaccurately depicted: the red band should be outside the curve, and the blue/violet band on the inside. A rainbow is composed of the entire spectrum of colors of visible light, from the longest wavelength, red, to the shortest wavelength, violet. The order of colors in a rainbow is easiest to remember by the following mnemonic (a formula that helps one remember something): Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain. R=red, O=orange, Y=yellow, G=green, B=blue, I=indigo, and V=violet. Red is naturally at the top edge (longest, or hottest in the spectrum) of the rainbow and violet is at the bottom edge (shortest, or coolest in the spectrum), with the other colors, in order, in between. See more »

Quotes

Leah Russell: I wish I was the one that was going away. Nothing ever happens around here. I gets up in the morning, bake my face in half a ton of slap, tong my hair with yesterday's lacquer, that's it. It's the same every bleeding day. There's fuck-all to look forward to.
See more »

Connections

References Mastermind (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

California Earthquake
Written by John Hartford
Sung by Cass Elliot (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Feel-good, positive film
1 June 2004 | by rickja101See all my reviews

This is one of those great British dramas set in a typically grim environment but shot with positivity throughout. Having grown up around the area in the film and being only a few years older than the featured boys, it was a joy to see life there depicted in the film.

I agree with all previous comments about the actors and how true-to-life it feels. Although slightly exaggerated in places, this film is a great comment on London working class life as well as being focused around a gay-based storyline.

However, I wanted to add that this film also comments on the complex class system in the UK which explains why Tony was dropped by Sandra. Many non-British viewers may not have picked up on this. Thoughout, Tony is shown as a middle class character who doesn't really fit into the working class environment. He uses different slang words to the others, has a 'posher' accent and has slightly different attitudes to all the other characters. He and Sandra come from different worlds. As Sandra says, she has been fighting all her life, whereas he has had evertyhing given to him on a plate. Ultimately, this relationship was never going to last. Life in London (and the UK) is still spilt into different social classes, although they do mix a little more than they used to. But you can often tell where someone is from by their accent and their choice of words. This was used to great affect in the film.

Overall, a light-hearted look at life on a London council Estate with some great performances... one of my favourite films.


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