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Liam is a young, restless teen struggling to realize his dream in the gritty and dismal streets of Greenock, where unemployment is rampant and little hope is available to the city's youth. He is waiting for the release of his mother, Jean, from prison where she is completing a prison term for a crime that her boyfriend actually committed. Her boyfriend, Stan, is a crude and obnoxious drug pusher is partnered by Liam's equally rough and foul-mouthed, mean-spirited grandfather. Liam is determined to rescue his mother from both of them, which means creating a safe haven beyond their reach. But first he's got to raise the cash--no small feat for a young man. It's not long before Liam and his pals' crazy schemes lead them into all sorts of trouble. Finding himself dangerously out of his depth, Liam knows he should walk away. Only this time, he just can't let go.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The film sparked a censorship debate in the UK regarding the amount of bad language used. Under current British Board of Film Classification rules, multiple uses of the word "fuck" usually only warrant a 15-certificate, but even a single aggressive use of the word "cunt" tends to lead to an 18-certificate, as was the case with Sweet Sixteen. It was argued, however, that this would prevent the people who could most closely identify with the characters in the film from going to see it, and that such language was much more commonly used, and therefore less offensive, in the north of the UK, where the film was set. The London based censors, however, stuck to their guns, although the local authority who cover the area where the film was shot, Inverclyde, utilized their cinema licensing powers to overrule this, and awarded the film a 15-certificate for screenings in their area. See more »
I saw this film at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival. A completely charming mix of hope and despair set in Greenock, a troubled suburb of Glasgow. Fifteen-year old Liam spends his time trying to scrounge enough money to buy a caravan (trailer) for his mom and him to live in when she's released from prison. He needs money fast, and decides to cut in on his mom's boyfriend's heroin trade. Of course, he's soon in way over his head. Among the rest of the non-professional cast, Martin Compston's performance floored me. He captures that period between childhood and adulthood with just the right mix of emotions. He was sitting in the seat right behind me and when the film was over, I turned to him, speechless, and just shook his hand.
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