5.4/10
617
11 user 18 critic

Better Things (2008)

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A group of young people grow up together in a small, rural community in the Cotswolds.

Director:

Duane Hopkins

Writer:

Duane Hopkins
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rachel McIntyre Rachel McIntyre ... Gail Wilson
Emma Cooper Emma Cooper ... Tess Baker
Liam McIlfatrick Liam McIlfatrick ... Rob
Che Corr Che Corr ... David
Freddie Cunliffe Freddie Cunliffe ... Jon
Jane Foxhall Jane Foxhall ... Tess's Mum
Tara Ballard Tara Ballard ... Sarah
Betty Bench Betty Bench ... Mrs. Gladwin
Frank Bench Frank Bench ... Mr. Gladwin
Patricia Loveland Patricia Loveland ... Nan Wilson
Byndley Hutt Byndley Hutt ... Mr. Wilson
Lillian Hutt Lillian Hutt ... Mrs. Wilson
Kurt Taylor Kurt Taylor ... Larry
Megan Palmer Megan Palmer ... Rachel
Katie Samuels Katie Samuels ... Julie
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Storyline

A group of young people grow up together in a small, rural community in the Cotswolds.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Lepsze rzeczy do roboty See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,239 (United Kingdom), 23 January 2009, Limited Release
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Grin and bear it - but worth it
7 December 2011 | by thecatcanwaitSee all my reviews

Three times i've seen this without being able to write about it. Watching it feels as painful as the pain its trying to show.

"It hurts when we love somebody. Because loving is a painful thing. That is its nature. Our loving is hurting us" reads dumpy adolescent Gail (what is the book? My guess is R D Laing)

"Love hurts" is the over-riding (sometimes overbearing) theme of the film. The thematic treatment supplants any kind of plot or through-run story.

Therefore condense drama to concentrate emotion: still the life, compose the frame, minimalise the dialogue. No panning or tracking or moving off with camera. Stay still. Be here. With this that hurts. The effect is to feel oppressively overloaded on monochromal, monotonal, misery.

This is all stylistically engaging. Racing in the car fast down a dark country lane; all the sound is cut except for the 2 boys talking – like being immersed inside the bubble of them, cut off from the outside, focused right in to the heart of their isolation.

Better Things is relentlessly, almost - courageously - grim. A lot of very miserable face going on. Faces without smiles, without warmth, lacking, unwarmed by love. Faces of lads are all so null and void its hard to distinguish one from the other.

All is shadow and blue inertia, with very little light to provide contrast.

This isn't so much about the perils of doing drugs. It's about how difficult it is to love when love feels out of reach. Deprived of love, life disappears, becomes denuded – gets gloomily unbearable. Seems to be the message.

Disturbingly, the setting isn't inner-city London, Manchester – but the least place you'd expect to see urban anomie and alienation, – the supposedly "lovely" Costwolds.

I'll be saving this film. Doubt I'll want to watch it another 3 times though.


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