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Half Broken Things (2007)

A middle aged house-sitter meets two tearaways, and together they form a surrogate family.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
... Jean
... Michael
... Steph
... Rev Gordon Brookes
... Sally
... Shelley
Crispin Redman ... Mr David
Bradley Gardner ... Jason
... Bill
... Mrs Dawson
Anthony Smee ... Magistrate
Geoffrey McGivern ... Jack (as Geoff McGivern)


A middle aged house-sitter meets two tearaways, and together they form a surrogate family.

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based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Thriller





Release Date:

28 October 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Des Hauses Hüterin  »

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User Reviews

Superb and harrowing portrayal of desperate delusion
14 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

Tim Fywell has been perhaps the best British television drama director for many years now, and it is a mystery why he has not been gobbled up by the big feature film producers yet. But here he is with his latest offering, and it is just as chilling and anxiety-producing as his eerie and unforgettable Barbara Vine dramas of the 1990s. This disturbing and nail-biting tale is based upon a novel by Morag Joss and is excellently scripted by Alan Whiting. What puts the whole project over the top into a realm of its own is the impeccable casting and the acting by the three principals. Penelope Wilton, Daniel Mays, and Sinead Matthews are so overwhelmingly convincing that one simply cannot imagine anybody else playing any of their roles. They absolutely became those people, to a terrifying degree. The intensity of this film is almost unbearable. The characters come together to live a dangerous joint fantasy life in somebody else's empty house. All of them are seriously damaged souls who have suffered terrible psychological deprivation or even physical abuse. In each other they finally find what they have always been looking for. But living a dream is dangerous, because there is something big and threatening called Reality which doesn't like people to do this and get away with it. What will happen? How bad can it get? The intensity rises, and rises, and rises. No pity is shown to the viewers who maybe can't stand all of this anxiety, want to turn it off, but can't. What solution can there possibly be? By now we are so enamoured of the three characters that we want them to win, they are all so endearing, so pathetic, so much at the very edge of human desperation and need. Why can't people who have been driven that far find some comfort and be entitled to it? And then the moral barriers begin to become permeable, and things begin to leak through, dripping, dripping, ominously. And the clock is ticking.

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