Suddenly, the moody 15-year-old, Tom, and his 18-year-old sister, Jessie, find themselves relocated from the hustle and bustle of urban London to the sullen silence of wind-swept rural Devon, at a little but neat cottage in the middle of nowhere. Dad is caring and kind, and very much in love with mum who has just given birth; however, an accidental glimpse of a disturbing and well-hidden secret in the family will bring Tom face-to-face with shock, denial, and ultimately, rage. What mystery could be so appalling that threatens to bring everyone in the family to their knees?Written by
Alexander Stuart: "Once my son was diagnosed with cancer, I had this huge amount of pain and anger about how this could happen to the child I loved so much. And I definitely directed that into The War Zone. I wrote it differently than anything I've written. I would rush back to the house while he was in chemotherapy and just write for two hours. I almost felt as if I were channeling it." See more »
I saw you.
Saw me what?
In the bath...
What were you doing?
What do you think? I got in and he got out.
That's not what I saw.
Well, that's all it was.
Where were you?
It's a pretty weird thing you're suggesting if you're saying what I think you're saying. I haven't told you to f@ck off or anything, which I probably should've. Nothing happened, OK? I'd tell you.
[...] See more »
Probably the worst thing about Tim Roth's audacious directorial debut is its title: 'The War Zone' conjures images of something rather noisier, and less subtle, than this film about aberrant sexuality within a family unit. Roth is brave enough to show love among the hate, and to assign a limited degree of complicit guilt to the apparent victim: the film gains greatly from both of these decisions. He also has interesting visual ideas: the film is full of lonely, widescreen images in which the central subjects appear almost lost; and homely Devon has never looked wilder and less civilised than it does here, depicted in winter and at night. Roth also gets great performances from all his cast: in what is essentially a four-hander, Tilda Swinton is good in a limited part, Ray Winstone shows (not for the first time) that he has talents beyond those required for his customary hard-man roles, but it's the young actors who are most outstanding: Freddie Cunliffe as the troubled boy who discovers dark secrets, and especially the beautiful, opaque Laura Belmont who is simply tremendous as his sexually aware, not-as-cool-as-she-seems sister. At time the soundtrack seems a bit generic, and I'm not entirely convinced by the open ending, but this is still a better film than many directors make in their careers. On the strength of this movie, Roth should enjoy a long career behind the camera.
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